United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Remarks during the Preparatory Meeting of the Ocean Conference (15-16 February 2017)
Thank you, Mr Co-facilitators
I would like to highlight the opportunities around the deployment of RET and specially ocean energy to make progress across SDG14 and other SDGs, in particular as regards economic and social development of SIDS and, by transitioning away from fossil fuels, achievement of the global climate goals.
For SIDS, implementing renewables is not just about saving the environment, it is about saving their communities, families, and homes for future generations. Many island nations have taken the first, second, or even third step towards the large-scale use of domestic renewable energy. With renewable energy sources now cost-competitive with oil-generated electricity, islands have an unprecedented opportunity to rethink their energy strategy, and by doing so create jobs, bring power to those currently without and deliver more reliable electricity services, all while combating climate change and preserving their way of life (and oceans).
In the transition to a sustainable future, there is a need to explore all kind of forms of renewable energy to be well developed and operationalized in a sustainable way. Ocean energy is a significant form of renewable power which has been an integral part of human civilisation and development. Ocean energy is abundant and geographically diverse.
There are a variety of different technologies that could be deployed like using ocean surface waves, tidal steams and tidal range, and ocean currents to generate electricity. There is also the use of advanced liquid biofuels in the highly polluting shipping sector.
Rapid strides with technology and other innovations are being made, with many applications reaching a commercial stage. These will drive cost reductions and help expand markets. Ocean energy is poised to play an important role in the energy mix in a low carbon economy which could contribute to decarbonisation aims as well as to provide employment opportunities that can arise in the coastal areas, which normally suffer from high unemployment rates.
For these reasons, we believe that RE deserves a mention in the Call for Action and we appreciate the reference in the SG’s background note.
We look forward to contributing to the Conference and partner with others to support progress on SDG14 and across the whole 2030 Agenda.
Thank you.
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