27 Apr 2007

Pacific leaders admit petrol and diesel energy is quickly becoming unaffordable

6:16 pm on 27 April 2007

Energy ministers from around the Pacific have agreed a unifed approach by countries in the Pacific is needed to procure fuel resources for the region.

A two day conference on Rarotonga brought together energy ministers from across the Pacific to discuss the rising cost of fossils fuels and other energy issues facing the region.

New Zealand's minister for energy, David Parker, says the cost of purchasing energy in the region is among the highest in the world.

He says petrol and diesel are becoming unaffordable in the region

"And added to that they've got the complications that the major oil companies have been withdrawing from the Pacific and so they've had less security in their supply routes and they've have an increase in costs. So one of the main outcomes is a real push for a regional procurement strategy for fuel, but there has also been a focus on both renewable energy resources to substitute for fossils fuels and also improvements in energy efficiency."

David Parker says the objective now is a joint procurement strategy agreement for the Pacific region by next year's Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting.