Renewable energy and sustainable development in Pacific Island countries

Renewable energy is a crucial step toward sustainable development in Pacific island countries (PICs). Asia has grown rapidly in the past 2 decades and accounts for an increasing share of global investment, production, and trade. PICs have benefited from that growth and strengthened their economic links with Asia while loosening ties with the Americas and Europe in most cases. Still, more needs to be done to deepen integration between Asia and the Pacific by improving trade facilitation, enhancing bilateral and regional partnerships, and building better interregional transport and telecommunications infrastructure. Most importantly, PICs need to invest in renewable energy development to fight climate change and rid their reliance on fossil fuels that cause a substantial drain on their gross domestic product every year. Generously endowed with hydro, solar, wind, and other renewable energy resources, renewable energy production will not only save costs on oil imports but could also help development of small businesses, social enterprises, and critical public goods that require cost-efficient and reliable power supply.