United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Cape Verde

Mr. Chairman,
Allow me first to thank all panelists for their presentation and their vision on this
Coming from a Small Island Developing State, my delegation would like to point
out some important aspects related to the question of energy for sustainable
development, which are of common concern to all SIDS.
Mr. Chairman,
As our countries develop, our reliance on fossil fuels also has increased, in
particular for producing electricity. Also, given our geographical settings,
transportation is proving to be one of the fastest consumers of petroleum.
The almost total dependence of SIDS on imported petroleum for commercial
energy causes a severe imbalance in our trade with other countries. Similarly,
the rising cost of fuel imports have put a serious drain on the limited national
financial resources and this, for instance, became even worse in the context of
the recent hurricanes in the Carribean and tsunamis and typhoons in the Pacific
and Indian Ocean regions.
That?s why Small Island Developing States are trying and want different
approaches to be taken in addressing matters pertaining energy.
Mr. Chairman,
Although renewable energy sources such solar, biomass and wind have been
utilized in several of our countries in several SIDS and in a number of sectors,
there remain significant opportunities and potentials to further develop these and
other renewable energy resources and for improving energy efficiency in small
island developing states.
Most SIDS have significant renewable energy resources but these resources
vary greatly within and among countries. One thing is clear: we have an
abundance of solar energy and in a large number of SIDS, particularly in rural
and remote areas, biomass is the main source of energy for cooking.
Mr. Chairman,
There is a lot of potential for changing the paradigm of energy and sustainable
development in SIDS.
We have to ask ourselves, then, why renewable energy has not made greater
inroads in our energy balance?
One of the major reasons is the lack of technical and policy-related knowledge
concerning renewable energy within SIDS. For instance, there are a lot of
engineers and technicians in our countries who understand the diesel generators
but not many who understand the workings of a solar panel. Similar constraint is
found at the government level where there is a lack of information and skills to
adequately prepare renewable energy policies. Another constraint to the
promotion and use of renewable energy in SIDS is the fact that renewable
energy development requires affordable credit financing and most SIDS do not
have the necessary resources to afford the relatively high up-front costs of
renewable energy projects.
Mr. Chairman,
It is crucial that SIDS/SIDS partnerships be supported by an effective
cooperation with development partners and the Mauritius Strategy offers an
important framework for that. That?s why we would like to appeal to the
international community to support the effective implementation of that strategy,
in line with the commitments that were made during the Mauritius International
Meeting, as a means to help them reduce poverty as well as achieving other
Millennium Development Goals.
I Thank you.