New Projects To Boost Renewable Energy and Improve Climate Resilience in Marshall Islands

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Thursday June 7, 2018 09:00
MAJURO--7 Jun--World Bank

MAJURO, June 6, 2018 – The World Bank and the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands this week launched two climate change related projects that will increase investments in renewable energy, promote energy efficiency, and enhance the country's resilience to the impacts of climate change.

The Marshall Islands is amongst the countries' most vulnerable to climate change and rising sea levels with risks including droughts, tropical storms, typhoons, erosion and flooding linked to king-tides and storm surges. With the islands elevated on average only two meters above sea level and 99 percent of Marshallese living on the coast, a sea level rise of one meter could inundate 80 percent of all land in the capital city, Majuro.

The Marshall Islands' reliance on expensive imported fuel for electricity also creates severe financial challenges for the country's economy.
The two projects, amounting to US$53.6 million combined, aim to reduce these vulnerabilities.

Part of a major Pacific-wide effort to reduce vulnerability amid one of the largest climate change initiatives ever undertaken in the Marshall Islands, the Pacific Resilience Project II includes $25 million in funding from the Green Climate Fund and will improve disaster preparedness and strengthen early warning systems, especially in the outer islands where reaching communities during an emergency is still a challenge. It will also invest in coastal adaptation and shoreline protection, starting in Ebeye where the majority of the population is exposed to the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.

The Sustainable Energy Development Project aims to support the efforts of the Marshall Islands to increase renewable power generation, energy efficiency and reliability. The project will support the design, supply, and installation for 3 MW solar generation, batteries and grid management in Majuro, as well as efforts to improve energy efficiency, through technical assistance that will identify further renewable energy options in Ebeye and the outer islands.

"People of the Marshall Islands live with the reality of climate change every day. The challenges we face are complex and unique to our country and, as such, solutions must be tailored to our needs and specific difficulties," said President of the Republic of Marshall Islands, H.E. President Dr. Hilda C. Heine. "I am proud to launch these two projects, in a partnership with the World Bank that reinforces government efforts to build our country's resilience to climate change while meeting our National Energy Policy goals and increasing our renewable power generating capacity."

The project launches are a significant milestone in the expanding partnership between the World Bank and the Republic of Marshall Islands as well as the wider North Pacific.

"With the launch of these two major projects, the Republic of the Marshall Islands will be in a better position to deal with the impacts of climate change, strengthen the resilience of its critical infrastructure, and reduce its reliance on costly imported diesel," said Michel Kerf, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. "We are proud to be supporting the Marshall Islands in addressing the effects of climate change while working to meet its energy challenges."

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