The first Commonwealth forum on sustainable energy opened yesterday in London with a call by the Deputy Secretary-General Arjoon Suddhoo for countries to act collectively on their “passion” to shift to clean energy, while tackling climate change.
In his keynote address, the Deputy Secretary-General challenged delegates to come up with “concrete, tangible” projects that will make a difference in years to come.
He said: “There’s a lot that can be done, if we have the right passion, with the backing of decision-makers, funding agencies, academia, NGOs and scientists.
“Funds are important, but let us not be guided by the limit of availability of funds. Let us be guided by our wish, our passion, to make a transition towards clean sources of power.”
As an example of clean energy solutions, Dr Suddhoo highlighted the role of the renewable energy industry in creating jobs, attracting investments and securing new technology.
He stressed the importance of marine renewably energy, especially for small island countries, adding: “When you consider the maritime zone that belongs to some of these islands, they are not small islands - they are big ocean states. The potential for offshore wind farm or wave farm or deep ocean waters can be significant.”
Senior officials at the two-day forum – the first of its kind for the Commonwealth – gathered under the theme 'Sustainable energy and development: Challenges and Opportunities’.
The forum builds on the commitment made by Commonwealth leaders in April 2018 on sustainable energy use and the transition to clean energy. It aims to provide a platform for exchange of knowledge and experiences amongst countries, while also targeting priority areas for action.
Along with member countries, other participants included key international organisations such as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), International Energy Agency (IEA), and International Solar Alliance (ISA).
Discussions focused on global trends in energy access, renewable energy, and energy efficiency, and explored the potential for cooperation. Countries shared national and regional progress towards energy targets under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. They agreed to meet periodically and called for the development of inclusive and just policies, strategies and actions for sustainable energy systems.