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Friday, 23 September 2016

EU and New Zealand: Partnership powers in the Pacific

Small developing states in the Pacific have traditionally relied on imports of fossil fuels. The cost of the fuel, combined with its price volatility, and the islands’ geographic remoteness, are all significant strains on these small economies. In addition, the use of fossil fuels adds to global climate change effects which pose an existential threat to many Pacific communities. It was for these reasons the European Union, the world’s largest donor of development aid, and New Zealand, a major development actor in the Pacific, decided three years ago to join forces and improve prospects across the region. It was evident that fighting energy poverty in a sustainable way and ending over-dependence on fossil fuels would be vital. Sustainable and local energy solutions were necessary, as were notable resources to build them [...] EU-New Zealand cooperation on agriculture is already starting in Vanuatu, and both partners are confident that cooperation on fighting climate change will prove crucial for the Pacific’s sustainable development. At the same time, ever more international donors and private sector participants will join in as they see this unique partnership working.