Islands are calling on national governments and international organisations to support their plans to ‘go green’, because their remote location makes them ideal testing grounds for innovative, climate-friendly solutions. The three-day ‘Greening the Islands’ conference, held last week in Valletta, Malta, focused on sustainability challenges concerning mobility, energy and water, saw the active participation of delegations from Malta, the Sicilian islands, the Canary and Balearic Islands, Greek islands, the Azores, Cyprus and the Caribbean islands.
The islands shared recommendations for the Paris Climate Conference, to be held in December. ‘Greening the Islands’ recommends the 2015 Paris Climate Conference COP21 to acknowledge the role of islands as natural laboratories for confronting climate change. It also calls upon COP21 for action to support and ease investments in sustainability on islands.
More specifically, islands call for support in encouraging:
- Action to preserve islands’ fragile environments and increase their resilience to climate change;
- Best practices and investment in research, development and deployment of sustainability solutions on islands, by reduction of red tape and tax incentives.
A ‘Greening the Islands’ Scientific Committee is already working on the next event to identify priorities and best practices.
Gianni Chianetta, Director & Scientific Co-ordinator of Greening the Islands, commented: “It is crucial that islands speak with a single voice, because they are on the frontline in tackling the challenges of Climate Change, security of supply and migrations. Islands are natural laboratories for innovative and integrated solutions. We invite more islands to join the Greening the Islands platform.”