Mauritius pioneers use of green taxes in Indian Ocean Region
A five-day capacity development workshop on fossil fuel and renewable energy (FFRE) transition policies for Indian Ocean and African Small Island Developing States (SIDS) started yesterday morning at La Cannelle, Domaine Les Pailles. (Image: World Bank)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has qualified Mauritius as a pioneer in the use of green taxes courtesy the MID Levy imposed on petroleum products and coal, stated Osman Mahomed, Executive Chairman of the MID Commission.
He made this statement at a five-day capacity development workshop on fossil fuel and renewable energy (FFRE) transition policies for Indian Ocean and African Small Island Developing States (SIDS) that started yesterday morning at La Cannelle, Domaine Les Pailles.
The objective of the workshop is to enable development of a FFRE capacity building and collaborative policy making methodology, to be re-used with other thematic or regional groups of countries.
This event is a joint initiative of the Commission Maurice Ile Durable (MID) and the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD).
It has been organised for the benefit of some 26 policy-makers from about ten island states, mostly from the Indian Ocean Region.
Moreover, case studies will be provided with the aim of informing ongoing UNOSD research on the political economy of policy reforms.
The opening ceremony was graced by Mauritius Energy minister Dr Rashid Beebeejaun, Mauritius Trade Minister Dr Arvin Boolell and the Head of UNOSD, Mr Yoon Jong Soo, amongst others.
Rashid Beebeejaun outlined in his opening address that a small island like Mauritius relies largely on its internal resources, but is constrained to import fossil fuel like all other SIDS.
He stated that fossil fuels will continue to be used on the island for another 50 years since substituting it with less polluting alternatives was a very costly exercise.
The latter added that much more research in the field of renewable energy is needed in order to make it more affordable and reliable, and announced that two deep ocean water applications for the island are in the pipeline.
As for Arvin Boolell, he highlighted that SIDS are highly vulnerable and must work in collaboration with each other and impress on all stakeholders the adverse effects of climate change.
“We must move from development goals to sustainable development goals,” he said, and added that climate change must be fought through clear cut strategies.
For Mr Yoon Jong Soo, this capacity-building process is timely, for both Member State governments and UNOSD, because a strong momentum is building within the UN System and green economy industry to accelerate the transition to low-emission, renewable energy sources.
He underlined that developing countries, in SIDS and elsewhere, need to look forward and benefit from this trend, reducing their dependence on fossil fuels and maximising the impact of early planning and investments.
It is to be noted that the UNOSD contributes to building, exchanging and facilitating knowledge-transfer in transitioning to sustainable development.
Furthermore, the UNOSD specialises in mapping, connecting and improving exchange of knowledge resources, providing advice to Member States and the broader policy communities on sharing and applying such resources, and conducting research and capacity development in sustainability transitions.