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THE GLOBAL INITIATIVE FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN THE ISLANDS
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20 October 2015 – Islands to call for COP21 recognition as climate change laboratories

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SMALL ISLANDS COMING TOGETHER IN MALTA TO CALL ON PARIS SUMMIT
TO BE CONSIDERED AS CLIMATE CHANGE LABORATORIES

Islands to issue joint paper at Greening the Islands conference requesting support for sustainable solutions

Group includes islands aiming for 100% renewable status and going “fossil free” as well as leaders in water desalination and sustainable mobility

This unique event will host Malta’s National Conference on promotion of electric vehicles, in association with Transport Malta

Milan & Valletta, 20 October 2015 – Delegates from small islands striving to “go green” as a way to safeguard livelihoods, the local environment and their allure as tourist destinations are set to meet in Malta to draw up a joint declaration on the need for a clear global framework on climate change.

The 2nd edition of the Greening the Islands conference, The 2nd edition of the Greening the Islands conference, to be held on October 28-30, aims to find a single voice for a group of islands brought together by their “triple” sustainability challenges: transitioning to renewable energy sources while at the same time ensuring reliable water supplies and implementing clean transport solutions.

Alongside host country Malta, the event will present cases such as the Canary Islands, where the island of El Hierro is aims at 100% renewable status, the Danish island of Samsø that is looking to go “fossil free” by 2030 as well as the Balearic Islands (Spain), Azores (Portugal), Cape Verde, Greek and Italian islands, Cyprus and the Caribbean. Among the 40 speakers and 20 island delegations, the conference will hear from ministers and representatives of regional and local administrations, international organisations and some of the companies providing innovative solutions specifically adapted to island situations.

A few preliminary remarks from the Greening the Islands Conference’s speakers:

Gianni Chianetta, Director & Scientific Co-ordinator of Greening the Islands and Director of The Green Consulting Group: “Most small islands cannot simply rely on continental networks, since they will be generally more exposed to the effects of climatic changes. Islands are natural laboratories for testing smart integrated solutions for mobility, energy, water and environment. Such solutions could be replicated in thousands of islands and on isolated locations with a fragile environment. Therefore, it is necessary that the needs of these islands recived proper consideration at the climate change negotiations in Paris.”

Joan Groizard, Director of Energy and Climate Change, Government of Balearic Islands: “Our ambitions depend greatly on support from the central government for renewable energy generation but current targets are for a 200%-500% increase in renewable energy generation by 2020, mostly from solar power. Our aim is to increase this even further.”

Remaining in Spanish islands, Erasmo Garcia de León, General Director of Industry and Energy of the Government of the Canary Islands, will present during the conference the “El Hierro 100% renewables” project where the island can go green thanks to an integrated system that works with wind and hydro power.

José Manuel Rosa Nunes, Energy Director of the Regional Government of the Azores: “Our goal for 2019 is to boost renewable energy sources to 56.7% of production from 36.3%, with most of the contribution coming from geothermal energy and wind power. This transition will slash diesel and fuel oil usage, leading to a 56% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, which is important in a touristic region rich in natural resources, and better balancing our commercial activities.”

In island contexts, energy issues cannot be treated in isolation so Greening the Islands tackles issues around water and mobility as well, dealing with them from atechnical, financial and policy standpoint. The sessions will give updates on energy supply, address the entire water cycle (desalination, purification, safety, distribution) and discuss clean vehicles for islands as well as economics, technologies, community education and awareness. The event will also host a national conference on electric vehicles of the Malta National Electromobility Platform, part of the country’s Transport Ministry with a horizontal theme entitled “The Air We Share”.

Note for editors:

About Greening the Islands

Greening the Islands is a unique, international event to inspire our collective work around the nexus of energy, water and mobility on islands and in remote locations. The conference’s 2nd edition, to be held in Malta on 28-29-30 October 2015, will give the chance to discover projects that are being implemented in locations around the world as well as to meet the protagonists involved.

The Green Consulting Group – in collaboration with the Government of Malta and Transport Malta and with the support of UN WWAP UNESCO, the Global Water Partnership and many other sector institutions – will bring together experts to discuss best practices, innovative technologies and how to manage infrastructure and systems in the most economically and ecologically efficient way. With the common goal of sustainability and self-sufficiency, island leaders will get a unique chance to meet with financial and government agencies as well as companies and investors. The event benefits from the support of Ascot Industrial, Global Hybrid Power, MegaCivic, SMA Solar Technology, SOFIP and Electric Vehicles.

The Malta event will also see the inaugural Greening the Islands Awards, an initiative that will serve not only to showcase the best technologies, projects and practices but also to facilitate information exchange and set the bar for future collaborative cooperation and competition among islands globally in reaching their CO2 reduction goals. A jury of five experts will determine the criteria and standards needed to pick out the most deserving islands in six categories. This year there will also be a specific focus on clean vehicles, since transport often accounts for a significant portion of CO2 emissions on islands.

For a full agenda of speakers covering three days of workshops, presentations and practical demonstrations, visit www.greeningtheislands.com or contact: secretariat@greeningtheislands.com.

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