‘Trade-offs’ warning for the Pacific Islands

National

PAPUA New Guinea and other Pacific Islands countries have been warned of  “trade-offs” when talking about “green growth”.
Dr Tess Newton Cain, a researcher on green growth in the Pacific, said although the concept of green growth or sustainable development was integrated in PNG’s sustainable development policy, there was no proper pathway to give up exploitation of mineral resources for sustainable development.
“For example, PNG sees itself as adversely affected by the impacts of climate change. Yet, as far as I am aware, it is not looking to stop exploiting its mineral resources (oil and liquefied natural gas) out of which it makes a lot of money via royalties and taxation,” Cain said.
She said policy-makers and advocates considered green growth too narrowly and paid less attention to the impacts policy discussions would bring on the economies.
Cain said like Vanuatu and Fiji, PNG linked “green growth” to renewable energy without considering the ways to give up mineral resources for solar, geothermal and wind.
“There was a lot of discussion about the potential for increasing the use of renewable sources in PNG’s future energy mix, with reference to solar, wind and geothermal.
“Our research in Vanuatu and Fiji has demonstrated that it is very easy for terms such as green growth to become pigeon-holed and linked in narrow ways.”

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