We, the Ministers and other Heads of Delegation of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) present at the Ministerial Conference on "Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in SIDS – Challenges, Opportunities, Commitments" in Bridgetown, Barbados 7-8 May 2012,

1. Reaffirm that the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) and the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI) remain the essential blueprints for addressing the sustainable development needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). In this regard, SIDS remain fully committed to ensuring the full and effective implementation of the BPOA and the MSI and we urge our development partners to provide, in a timely and predictable manner, financial and technical support to ensure the successful implementation of the BPOA and MSI. (agreed)

2. Reaffirm United Nations General Assembly resolution 65/151 of 20 December 2010 which, inter alia declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. (agreed)

3. Emphasize that achieving sustainable energy for all in SIDS includes providing all households with access to modern and affordable renewable energy services, while eradicating poverty, safeguarding the environment and providing new opportunities for sustainable development and economic growth. (agreed)

Challenges

4. Remain deeply concerned that SIDS continue to face acute sustainable development challenges resulting from their unique and specific vulnerabilities and characteristics. SIDS remain highly vulnerable notably due to their small open economies, narrow resource base, disadvantages in economies of scale, remoteness, high export concentration, high dependency on imports with high vulnerability to energy and food price shocks and speculation, and relatively high levels of national debt. These combined vulnerabilities have been further exacerbated by the current global energy, food, financial and economic crises, the increased incidence of natural disasters, and environmental challenges. (agreed)

5. Express our grave concern that international action to address climate change has been slow and grossly inadequate given that climate change and sea level rise is already threatening the viability and survival of SIDS. Global emissions continue to increase, putting the world on a pathway that would result in an increase in global mean temperatures of more than 3.5 degrees Celsius, which is far in excess of the well below 1.5 degrees Celsius goal proposed by AOSIS and other vulnerable developing countries. (agreed)

6. Remain deeply concerned that most SIDS are highly dependent on imported oil and other fossil fuels for transport and electricity generation and this is a major source of economic vulnerability for SIDS. This leaves SIDS highly exposed to oil-price volatility. The increasing cost of imported fossil fuels represent a major impediment to the achievement of sustainable development and poverty eradication in SIDS as scarce financial resources are diverted from efforts to promote social and economic development and ensure environmental protection. Furthermore, many remote and rural SIDS communities have little or no access to modern and affordable energy services. (agreed)

7. Underscore that while SIDS contribute the least to global emissions and have limited human, financial and technical resources, our nations continue to take significant actions towards the reduction of our own emissions including through regional and inter-regional energy initiatives as our contribution to resolving global climate change and as a demonstration of our moral leadership in the fight against climate change. (agreed)

Opportunities

8. Emphasize that important lessons have been learnt from the implementation of the BPOA and MSI over the last decades including the value of SIDS-SIDS cooperation and collaboration, and fostering SIDS led partnerships with development partners. (agreed)

9. Further emphasize that there are commercially feasible options for providing energy such as wind, solar, geothermal, and ocean energy, and that many SIDS are particularly suited to these options because of their geographical location. However, these technologies must be made, accessible, affordable and adaptable to the needs and particular circumstances of SIDS communities. In this regard, we strongly urge the international community particularly developed countries to ensure the provision of financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building to SIDS. (agreed)

10. Further recognize that there are significant opportunities for SIDS to collectively develop their vast renewable energy resources to meet present and future needs as well as the potential to export energy to other economies , and that through collective action SIDS can drive the development of SIDS –appropriate technology to ensure realization of the benefits of their renewable energy resources. In order to capitalize on these opportunities SIDS require financial resources, capacity building and technology transfer. (agreed)

11. Recognize that the current high global cost of fossil fuels provides opportunities for investments in the development of the vast and underutilized renewable energy resources in SIDS which could form the basis for a new sustainable and resilient economy in SIDS. (agreed)

12. Underline the strong interdependence between energy and such sectors as water and food and agriculture as well as the importance of increased access to sustainable energy services to saving lives, eradicating poverty, improving health and ensure meeting human needs. (agreed)

Commitments

13. Remain committed to work towards the continued development and implementation of policies and plans to ensure the transformation of the current fossil fuel based energy sector to a modern, affordable and efficient renewable energy sector, and urge our development partners to provide the required support to enable us to achieve this objective. (agreed)

14. Welcome the commitment by some SIDS to undertake the actions contained in Annex I of this Declaration aimed at promoting transformational activities in the areas of, inter alia, affordable and modern energy access, renewable energy, energy efficiency and low carbon development, in the context of sustainable development. (agreed)

15. Call on the international community including regional and international development banks, bilateral donors, the UN system, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the private sector to provide adequate and predictable financial support and investments as well as technological transfer and capacity building to ensure the achievement of the voluntary commitments contained in Annex I of this Declaration. (agreed)

16. Welcome in this regard the commitments made by the Governments of Denmark, Norway, to support the efforts of SIDS to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency and low-carbon development including achieving the voluntary commitments made by some SIDS contained in Annex I of this declaration. (agreed)

Initiatives

17. Welcome the efforts of SIDS to develop and implement national, regional and inter-regional energy policies, plans and strategies to address the special vulnerabilities of SIDS, while ensuring supplies of secure, reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly energy and power. (agreed)

18. Welcome also the SIDS-SIDS Sustainable Energy Initiative (SIDS Dock) as a valuable tool to support these efforts and encourage SIDS that have not yet done so to consider becoming members of SIDS Dock. (agreed)

19. Acknowledge the initial financial support to SIDS Dock provided by the Governments of Denmark and Japan and call on other development partners to provide support to SIDS Dock. (agreed)

20. Acknowledge also the contributions of UNDP and the World Bank in the implementation of SIDS Dock activities at the country and regional levels. (agreed)

21. Acknowledge further the role of IRENA in supporting SIDS in their efforts to accelerate renewable energy deployment, and call for its greater involvement in supporting SIDS efforts. In this context, we encourage SIDS that have not joined IRENA to consider doing so. (agreed)

22. Welcome the efforts of the UN Secretary-General in organizing and coordinating activities during the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. In this regard, we note with interest the Sustainable Energy for all initiative, and look forward to discuss it in the relevant intergovernmental fora. We further acknowledge that this initiative has identified three interlinked objectives which underpin the goal of achieving sustainable energy for all by 2030:

• Ensuring universal access to modern energy services;

• Doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency;

• Doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix (agreed)

23. Recognize other important regional and sub-regional initiatives implemented by SIDS aiming to provide sustainable energy for all. (agreed)

Rio +20

24. Welcome the convening of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) in Brazil in June 2012 as an important opportunity for the international community to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development and assess progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development. (agreed)

25. Reiterate that the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference must be ambitious and convey the urgency of fully embracing the sustainable development agenda including the fulfillment of all commitments related to SIDS. (agreed)

26. Express our full support for the convening of 3rd Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS in 2014 as a tangible outcome on SIDS at Rio +20. (agreed)

27. Invite all SIDS to use this declaration in our preparations for the Rio+20 Conference and to record their support of it in our national interventions there. (agreed)

Expression of Gratitude

28. Express our profound gratitude appreciation to the Government of Barbados and UNDP for co-hosting this Conference and invite the Government of the Republic of Nauru in its capacity as Chair of AOSIS and the Government of Barbados to submit this Declaration to the Government of Brazil and the UNSG as a contribution to the UNCSD. (agreed)