United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Iceland

The Permanent Mission of Iceland
to the United Nations
Statement by
Ambassador Gunnar Pálsson
Director, Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
at the
Fourteenth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable
Development
SIDS Day
New York, 8 May 2006
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The Permanent Mission of Iceland to the United Nations
800 Third Ave. 36th fl. - Tel 212-593-2700. - Fax 212-593-6269
In the course of our session so far, we have become more aware of the close
interlinkages that exist between the themes chosen for this particular cycle of the CSD´s work.
Some of those interlinkages are widely acknowledged to be of particular significance to small
island developing states (SIDS), for whom the impact of climate change, should it continue at
the rate projected by many scientists, will be catastrophic.
Prompt action to reduce globally our dependence on fossil fuels and improve energy
efficiency may, in the long term, mitigate such impacts. In the meantime, measures should
also be taken to assist developing countries, including SIDS, adapting to the effects of climate
change, among other things through economically and environmentally beneficial programs in
the energy sector.
In this context, Iceland shares the emphasis placed on the urgent need for real action
on renewable energy in the Mauritius Strategy for Sustainable Development of SIDS and is
encouraged to see that steps are being taken in this direction. Here the issue is to both improve
access for SIDS to affordable energy services and adapt emerging energy efficient
technologies to the needs of SIDS and other developing countries.
Transitioning to a global low carbon economy will require substantial new
investments in capacity building and renewable energy technologies (investments that tend to
be front-loaded as the panelists have observed) and here Governments need to join forces with
private enterprise and International Financial Institutions (IFI). In this connection, my
Government welcomes the recent initiative of the World Bank, which, in a joint effort with
other IFIs and Development Banks, has come up with a systematic approach to this colossal
task, proposing, among other things, a track of activities to generate new knowledge on
technology options and programs of action for selected countries.
Iceland stands ready to do its part in assisting the SIDS in this regard. At Mauritius,
my Government pledged one million US dollars over a three year period to support projects
and programs that are part of the Mauritius Strategy. This initiative as been bolstered since
then, as more than one million US dollars has been granted to projects and programs for the
SIDS.
Further projects are under consideration, among them in the field of renewable energy and
adaptation to climate change, and we look forward to continuing to exchange views with the SIDS
during the current CSD cycle and beyond.
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