28 Aug 2012

Cook Islands Government hopes renewable energy will ease diesel burden

3:04 pm on 28 August 2012

The Cook Islands Finance Minister, Mark Brown, says the country has the biggest carbon footprint per capita of any island country in the Pacific.

He told journalists that diesel was one of the country's highest overall costs.

Mr Brown says the Cook Islands government is pursuing a renewable energy programme to ease the burden of paying 10 million US dollars a year for diesel to generate electricity.

He says the high cost of electricity is a big hindrance to economic development with it second only to wages in terms of a company's expenses.

Mr Brown says there are other considerations, such as a lower energy cost encouraging outer islanders to stay and work on their islands.