IRENA Partners with AOSIS at COP26 to Mobilise Climate Finance in Small Island Developing States

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) signed an agreement at COP26, known as ‘Adaptation Day’, that will see the two organisations work closely to mobilise climate finance and to advance the deployment of renewable energy across Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

November 09, 2021. By Manu Tayal

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) signed an agreement at COP26, known as ‘Adaptation Day’, that will see the two organisations work closely to mobilise climate finance and to advance the deployment of renewable energy across Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

According to IRENA analysis on the first round of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) conducted in 2019, around USD 16 billion of financing is needed by 2030 to achieve their respective targets SIDS.

In September this year, AOSIS and IRENA through the SIDS Lighthouse Initiative committed to achieving a total of 10 GW installed renewable energy capacity in all SIDS by 2030 under a joint energy compact submitted to the UN. At the end of 2020, around 6 GW of renewables were operational in SIDS. 

The signing ceremony took place at the AOSIS pavilion between IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera and Molwyn Joseph, Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment of Antigua and Barbuda and Chair of AOSIS. 

“The plight of small islands around the world must serve as a continual reminder of the urgency to act,” said Francesco La Camera. “The enthusiasm witnessed at this COP must now be translated from commitments to action in the months and years ahead of us. In that context, IRENA and AOSIS will redouble efforts to maintain the energy transition leadership shown by island nations since the signing of the Paris Agreement by working to mobilise climate finance and bolstering the implementation agenda.”

AOSIS represents 44 small islands and low lying coastal developing states representing 39 SIDS across the Caribbean, Pacific and Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea. 

Molwyn Joseph said, “IRENA has been a steadfast supporter for the work being undertaken in our island countries in accelerating transition towards renewable energy for almost a decade, and so we’re very pleased now to finally make it ‘official’. 

The partnership will work to operationalise the ‘Ambitious SIDS Climate Action Summit Package’ announced during UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in 2019 and targets increased access to financial de-risking instruments to achieve energy transition goals by 2030.

The Package is being operationalised through the IRENA-coordinated SIDS Lighthouses Initiative (LHI), comprised of 38 SIDS and 31 partners including developed countries, regional and international organisations, development agencies, private companies, research institutes and non-profit organisations.

IRENA and AOSIS, through this cooperation, will also support the enhancement and implementation of NDCs and the pursuit of sustainable development in SIDS.
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