Minister Joubert attends 11th Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency virtually

The 11th session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) Assembly took place in a virtual setting from 18 to 21 January 18 to 21, 2021 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The sessions were live-streamed on the Irena Assembly Live webpage.

The event brought together heads of state/government, ministers and energy decision-makers among its membership and states-in-accession, as well as multilateral organisations, global stakeholders and private actors to reassess long-standing assumptions, perceived barriers and default decisions, and discuss the energy transition as an investment in the collective future.

The Seychelles delegation was led by the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change & Environment Flavien Joubert, Ambassador Jean-Claude Adrienne, principal secretary for climate change Wills Agricole, and chief executive of the Seychelles Energy Commission (Sec), Tony Imaduwa.

A high-level ministerial plenary session on ‘National Energy Planning and Implementation for Fostering Energy Transition’was also held on Tuesday during the 11th session of the Irena Assembly and Minister Joubert delivered the following statement:

“Seychelles was on track to meet its 5% RE (renewable energy) target for 2020 but due to Covid-19, we had major delays in developing and commissioning three big projects – 5MW PV farm, a 5MW floating PV plant, and also the commissioning of a centralised battery storage system to allow for further RE integration.

“The pandemic however provides us an opportunity to take a step back and assess the progress we have made. Under the Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) of the NDC Partnership programme, Seychelles has received support to review its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), energy policy and energy legislation, enhance the quality and increase the ambition of our revised and upscaled NDC.”

He continued: “Faced with the hard lessons of the Covid pandemic, Seychelles is renewing its emphasis on small-scale and medium-scale renewable energy systems, as well as developing a framework for energy efficiency to address minimum energy performance, energy efficiency in buildings, energy market, and promotional schemes and financial incentives. Seychelles is also greening its outlying islands to run mostly on solar battery hybrid systems, and its programme to install PV systems in all schools recently received an international award.

With the Covid-19, Seychelles sees the continued need to access appropriate financing that will facilitate energy transformation to meet our international commitments. Increased ambitions of our NDC cannot be realised if we do not address challenges such as a varied, fragmented financing and stringent procedures that do not consider local conditions and expectations. Small island states (Sids) like Seychelles, really need access to appropriate financing that will facilitate energy transformation and support the implementation of the Paris Agreement commitments and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

He emphasised: “Seychelles recognises the importance that Irena places on renewable energy as a catalyst for development and believes Irena is the ideal framework through which to facilitate such transformation to a low carbon future. We would like to take this opportunity to connect and discuss further support as well as explore further opportunities for collaboration not only for the country but also for the region. We believe that we can accelerate our transformation through partnerships with the support of Irena.”

He concluded: “We, therefore, call on Irena to play an active role in engaging member countries by supporting their national energy transition policies and climate actions through renewable energy, as part of their NDCs and Long-Term Strategies (LTS). Furthermore, Seychelles encourages Irena to foster high-level energy-climate transition dialogue among members and partners for an improved implementation of climate action in the run-up to COP26 and beyond.”