Mauritius geared to combat climate change with 2050 Pathways Calculator
Mauritius is the first Small Island Developing State (SIDS) to benefit from a 2050 Pathways Calculator to devise feasible strategies for exploring environmentally sound technologies that help the island economy mitigate climate change as well as determine how far renewable sources could satisfy energy demand in the future.(Image:iop.harvard.edu)
Mauritius is the first Small Island Developing State (SIDS) to benefit from a 2050 Pathways Calculator, which is a groundbreaking tool that allows policy makers to consider feasible energy demand and supply pathways for reducing emissions of Greenhouse Gases by 2050.
The launch of the Mauritius 2050 Pathways Calculator, which coincided with the European Climate Diplomacy Day, was held on 17 June 2015 at Westminster House, Floreal, in the presence of Environment Minister Jayeshwur Raj Dayal; British High Commissioner Jonathan Drew; and French Ambassador Laurent Garnier; amongst others who were present at the launch ceremony.
Dayal expressed the government’s satisfaction in associating with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office over this initiative. He noted that the 2050 Pathways Calculator will help Mauritius devise feasible strategies, options and policies, and explore environmentally sound technologies to mitigate climate change.
“It is thus an important decision making instrument in developing low emissions strategies while promoting sustainable development for the coming decades,” he added.
The 2050 Pathways Calculator helps to determine how far renewables could satisfy energy demand in the future; identify pathways to achieve Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction; and determine how to reduce GHG emissions while still pursuing high levels of economic growth.
According to the latest World Risk Report 2014, Mauritius’ contribution to global emissions of GHG stood at around 0.01% last year and was ranked 14th with the highest disaster risk and was 7th on the list of countries most exposed to natural hazards. Thus, Mauritius has to be fully prepared to adapt to the impact of climate change as well as do its utmost to mitigate climate change.
Being a Small Island Developing State with limited resources, the energy dependence of Mauritius on imported fossil fuels stands at around 85%, representing over 20% of its total import bill. Therefore, the greatest challenge remains on ways and means to cut emissions while meeting energy demand and sustaining a reasonable socio economic and low emissions sustainable development.
The government is aiming at going beyond the target of 35% of renewable energy in the total energy mix by 2025 and setting up a Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency to promote development of renewable energies.
For his part, Mr Drew stated that with the success of the carbon calculator in the UK, the British Government wanted others to benefit from this tool too, as it has helped a number of countries such India, Japan and South Africa develop and publish their own versions of the calculator.
Finally, the carbon calculator should, in the immediate future, help Mauritius to calculate its emission scenarios, and thereafter contribute to the preparation of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Moreover, the tool can be used for strategy planning and helping gauge the energy mix needed for the future to ensure energy security.