The serious environmental problems currently facing Solomon Islanders will be high on the agenda when His Royal Highness Prince of Wales Prince Charles makes his first-ever visit to the Solomon Islands on November 24th and 25th.
In a two-day visit, Prince Charles will meet with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and other leaders in Honiara who will discuss, amongst other things, the consequences of climate change on island life.
With a focus on solutions for the future, the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) will brief his Royal Highness on their commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP), which will promote clean energy development and enhance energy security by substituting diesel power generation by hydropower. As one of the Solomon’s main climate change associated projects, it also has the objective to provide electricity from indigenous renewable energy sources (hydro) to provide more affordable and reliable energy options to the capital, Honiara.
The project, which is on track to start phase one construction in early 2020, will reach some exciting major milestones in the coming months. This is welcomed news for partners and major financial contributors, one of which being The Green Climate Fund (GCF), an organization which exists to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change.
The Green Climate Fund, joined by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the Australian Government (DFAT) and the Korea-EX-IM Economic Development Cooperation Fund, all of whom, alongside World Bank Group, have committed to supporting this key nation-building project in the Solomon Islands.
The project being on track to deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2024 will be good news for the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) to share with The Prince of Wales, who is a passionate environmentalist and has spoken out about climate change for the past 40 years. The TRHDP is a clear indication of commitments by the SIG in addressing climate change.
- The Green Climate Fund signed a Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) to begin transferring USD 86 million in climate financing to the World Bank for this USD 234 million project which is expected to provide a clean and reliable source of electricity in the capital, Honiara, by 2024.
- TRHDP is critical for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction and for SIG to achieve its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) commitment to reduce GHG by 18,800 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) per year by 2025 and by 31,125 tCO2eq per year by 2030.
- The net GHG emission reduction potential of the Project is 49,500 tCO2eq per year that is more than twice the INDC target for 2025.
- The TRHDP will not only diversify the Solomon Islands’ source of electricity but will also shift Honiara’s grid from 3% renewables in 2017 to 68% at commissioning.