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Loan Agreement Aims to Fight Climate Change

Loan Agreement Aims to Fight Climate Change

The International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) will provide a USD 4 million loan for the Home Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy project, which will assist the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy in an effort to fight climate change. The agreement was signed by TaiwanICDF Secretary General Amb. Weber V.B. Shih and Minister of Finance of the RMI Honorable Brenson Wase. Minister of Resources and Development of the RMI Hon. Alfred Alfred Jr., ambassador of the RMI to the ROC (Taiwan) Frederick Muller and representatives from the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs also attended the signing ceremony.

Ninety percent of the energy consumed in the RMI relies on imported fossil fuels, and electricity is mainly generated by diesel. Due to long transport distance and limited fuel storage facilities, the cost of electricity can be as high as USD 0.33/kWh, which can be burdensome compared to household consumption at around USD 0.1/kWh in Taiwan. The RMI government is eager to replace part of its diesel consumption with renewable energy in order to reduce reliance on imported diesel. The Home Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy project will enable households in the RMI to have access to loans that will allow them to renovate wiring, and install energy efficient appliances and solar panels. This will lead to decreased dependence on fossil fuels, increased use of renewable energy, eventually leading to energy security and independence.

Small island states are particularly vulnerable to climate change, making it a top priority issue for the RMI government. Hon. Wase noted the project is key to the RMI’s national interest and expressed his appreciation for Taiwan’s assistance, which will contribute to the social and economic development of the country. He further explained that people of the RMI will be able to purchase energy efficient appliances or solar panels with loans provided by this project, further supporting the nation’s sustainable development initiatives. Hon. Alfred added that the RMI is working towards a 20 percent substitution of diesel with renewable energy by 2020, and this project undoubtedly stands for a solid commitment to this target by the RMI and Taiwan.

Following the United Nations’ announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the adoption of the Paris Agreement at COP21 in 2015, sustainable development and climate change mitigation and adaptation are now among the most pressing issues in the international development community. The TaiwanICDF is committed to providing assistance in line with global trends. TaiwanICDF Secretary General Amb. Shih emphasized that the TaiwanICDF and the RMI have been cooperating for 20 years, and this project represents a new step in global efforts to tackle climate change. It is anticipated that the success of this project can serve as a benchmark and demonstrate how small island countries can mitigate the impacts of climate change.

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  • Date:2016/11/22