27 Sep 2005

Aid donors called on to be more active in promoting renewable energy in the Pacific

8:12 pm on 27 September 2005

The environmental organisation, Greenpeace, says aid donors need to put more effort into helping Pacific countries develop alternative forms of energy.

Much of the Pacific is dependent on diesel generation for electricity but the soaring costs of petroleum are impacting on their already fragile economies.

Renewable energy has been championed in the Pacific for years but with little response.

Now Greenpeace's Fiji energy advocate, Valerie Campbell, says the surge in oil prices may be the catalyst for change on a major scale.

She says the biggest hurdle is the upfront cost of infrastructure for alternative energy production and aid donors need to consider this.

"And I think in this case it is a very sensible way for aid countries to go, and I believe that all of those countries that donate to the Pacific are probably looking at those things, because they too can see that it is a direction that they should be taking, but they probably have to be pushed a little to actually commit to things quickly."