Seychelles takes part virtually in World Bank flagship biennial Global Infrastructure Forum |22 May 2021
Invited by the World Bank, the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment Flavien Joubert on Wednesday participated in a virtual ministerial plenary panel as a high-level speaker on the ‘Challenge of Creating a Feasible Pathway towards Carbon Neutrality’.
He joined other ministers for climate change and energy from India, Indonesia, Chile, Turkey and Rwanda in a discussion centred on the importance of co-creating credible decarbonization pathways and targets together with stakeholders across key sectors of the economy, as well as on adaptation strategies. Through a set of questions, the panelists discussed how major economies are designing and implementing the transition to cleaner energy, the trade-offs they are facing, and the reforms and financing required to achieve country level aspirations.
In his remarks Minister Joubert spoke of the challenge of achieving carbon stabilization and was invited to reflect on the major priorities for action to decarbonize Seychelles’ economy in the next decade and to elaborate on the trade-offs and potential economic multipliers of the clean energy transition.
He also spoke about adapting to climate change and shaping a resilient economy where he stated that extreme weather events such as floods and tropical cyclones are expected to become more frequent and intense within the Indian Ocean region.
He said that as Seychelles responded to Covid’s demand for urgent and immediate action, it could not forget that the climate crisis still remains and also demands an urgent response.
“The planet continues to warm, oceans continue to acidify, sea levels continue to rise, and extreme weather continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of our people and throughout the world,” Minister Joubert said.
He added that the lessons that Seychelles has learnt from Covid-19 crisis has paved the path to a more resilient future. The crisis has opened up the doorway for a new frontier of multilateralism and international cooperation.
As a result, the government of Seychelles has come up with an action- package encompassing six priority areas built on a climate smart resilient Seychelles to enable transformation in all aspects; including environment, economic and social, with investment support. They are:
- Accelerate Seychelles Energy Transition
- Unlock the Potential of Nature-Based Solution
- Decarbonize the transport sector through accelerating electric-mobility
- Accelerate Climate-smart Agriculture being less energy intensive
- Build climate-resilient coastal infrastructure
- Improve energy efficiency in the built environment.
The government felt that the green investments built around renewable energy, sustainable transport solutions and nature-based rehabilitation could deliver significant number of additional jobs and increase in percentage of more value added in the economy.
He highlighted that Seychelles recognizes the importance that it has to place on Renewable Energy as a catalyst for development and believe supporting partners like World Bank and IRENA to name a few have the ideal expertise through which they could assist Seychelles to come up with an energy framework, so as to facilitate such transformation to a low carbon future.
“There is a need to invest in new and affordable technologies, particularly in the energy sector, so as to transform our various markets and also as a vehicle for innovation and an enhancer of human capabilities. We believe that we can accelerate our transformation through partnerships with the support of these organizations,” the minister said.
He said that Seychelles 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 in different energy technologies.
Furthermore, he reiterated that Seychelles considers adaptation to climate change as a high priority to reduce the country’s vulnerability and the cost is quite high. The integration of critical adaptation needs for Seychelles include increase water storage particularly in the dry season, sanitation, coastal protection, flood control and protection of critical coastal infrastructure. Seychelles with the support of World Bank felt the need to address the hazards affecting Seychelles’ coastal zones by developing a Coastal Management Plan in 2019.
He concluded by saying that “The five-year plan (2019-2024) looks at the necessary actions required to reduce the impact of erosion, flooding and other climate change effects on the country’s coastline. The various projects and programmes will cost an estimated USD15 million, and the World Bank agreed to assist the government in raising the necessary financing under the institution's climate change mitigation and adaptation portfolios”.
Press release from the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment