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UNDP SIDS Bulletin Special Edition | 2021 In Review

This special edition of the UNDP SIDS Bulletin provides a take on 2021 in retrospect in the interconnected sectors of Blue Economy, Digital Transformation, Climate Action and Data in SIDS.

It is time to reflect on what an important and complex year 2021 has been for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Despite the challenges of more frequently occurring extreme weather events, compounded with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine inequity, SIDS have proven themselves frontrunners in many aspects of sustainable development. As we look back on this past year, SIDS have been incubators of innovation, playing an active role in improving their development models. Below is our take on 2021 in retrospect in the interconnected sectors of Blue Economy, Digital Transformation, Climate Action and Data in SIDS, as well as selected reading and viewing recommendations.

On behalf of the UNDP SIDS team, we wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season and a happy new year.


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UNDP SIDS Bulletin Issue 41 | June 2021

In this issue, read the following feature stories, as well as other related documents and reports, events and opportunities, on the ocean:

  1. SIDS take the “blue” route as 63-year record-high global CO2 emissions set to impact the oceans
  2. New report suggests that more destructive ocean waves are attributed to the oceans absorbing 90% of the planet's heat
  3. A 20% increase in observer coverage assisted by electronic monitoring (EM) programs can improve the sustainability of tuna fisheries

    The world is behind on the climate and sustainable development goals it set forth a decade ago, and energy-related goals are no exception. This week, the 2021 High-Level Dialogue on Energy’s Ministerial-level Thematic Forums are bringing together Ministers and other stakeholders to share experiences and discuss opportunities for scaling up action for SDG 7. SIDS continue to be trailblazer advocates as three out of the thirty Global Champions are hailing from SIDS, namely the Dominican RepublicMauritius, and Nauru.

    SIDS have made some very ambitious commitments in their Nationally Determined Contributions submissions last year and this year towards net-zero emissions, however, they are not facing the same conditions as other countries. Recognizing that SIDS face several obstacles to transform their energy sectors is essential to supporting their renewable energy transition, as stressed by H.E. Dr. Walton Webson Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, Chair of AOSIS this morning.

    These include the disproportionally high cost of renewable energy technology, the scarcity of public and private investment and scalability, and the continued subsidization of fossil fuel technologies. SIDS need concrete action to overcome these constraints which are exacerbated eligibility rules relevant to GDP. Instead, partners  should support the SIDS by accommodating their special circumstances and simplifying procedures to facilitate access to finance. Many commitments were announced during the Ministerials so far, including UNDP's Energy Promise, which aims to increase access to clean and affordable energy for 500 million people and to support inclusive and green energy transition. As described by Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, “Equitable access to energy and decarbonization are the key drivers of how we need to think about energy in the future”. 

    Overall, the momentum displayed by stakeholders during the past three days and on the road to #HLDE2021 indicates that we have reason to remain optimistic about clean energy in 2021.