Mount Tavurvur. Photo credit: Taro Taylor, CC BY 2.0
The recent completion of a solar power project for the Pacific nation of Vanuatu marks the latest stage of a $50 million initiative managed by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.
The Independent State of Papua New Guinea (PNG) occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea off the northern coast of Australia. Over 800 languages are spoken among the developing nation's highly diverse population of approximately 7 million. In March 2016, PNG became the first nation to finalize a climate plan under the agreement adopted at COP21 in Paris in December 2015. Although the country's greenhouse gas emissions are negligible from a global climate perspective, PNG nonetheless has prioritized being a responsible global citizen, as well as sending a strong message to developed countries that are emitting the majority of greenhouse gases to act to protect world populations from climate change.
A cornerstone of PNG's climate plan, called a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) per UNFCCC rules, is curbing fossil fuel emissions, which otherwise risk rising due to economic development. To this end, PNG has committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy in the electricity sector by 2030, contingent on availability of funding. The nation also plans to improve efficiency across sectors and reduce emissions where possible in the transportation and forestry sectors.
PNG will also seek to mitigate its contribution to climate change by reducing deforestation and promoting both forest conservation and sustainable management of the nation's forests, which is being coordinated through an existing UN initiative called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).