The impacts of global warming are among the more serious environmental threats for the Pacific Island countries. These nations justifiably argue that developed countries should give immediate priority to the implementation of climate change mitigation policies because of the severe nature of potential greenhouse impacts for the Pacific Islands. Another immediate priority acknowledged by these nations is the need for development of adaptation policies that plan for adjustment or adaptation, where possible, to the foreshadowed impacts of climate change. This article does not focus on adaptation or mitigation policy directly but on an allied opportunity that exists for the Pacific Islands via the auspices of the Climate Convention, because the existing very costly energy systems used in the Pacific Island region are fossil-fuel dependent. It is argued here that efforts can be made towards the development of energy systems that are ecologically sustainable because Pacific Island nations are eligible to receive assistance to introduce renewable energy technology and pursue energy conservation via implementation mechanisms of the Climate Convention and, in particular, through transfer of technology and via joint implementation. It is contended that assistance in the form of finance, technology, and human resource development from developed countries and international organizations would provide sustainable benefits in improving the local Pacific Island environments. It is also emphasized that mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions is not the responsibility of the Pacific Islands as they contribute very little on a per capita global scale and a tiny proportion of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
- climate change
- framework Convention on Climate Change
- pacific islands
- renewable energy