Pacific – Last week, seven participants from the Pacific Climate Warriors and Pacific Conference of Churches completed an online training in Suva, Fiji, on the assembly and maintenance of basic PV solar power systems. This was led by the Institute of Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC).
This act of community resilience was in anticipation of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on Climate Impacts to be released on Monday, 28th February. The report is expected to indicate that the climate crisis will cause unprecedented damages, unless governments take urgent measures to lower emissions.
Joseph Sikulu, 350.org Pacific Regional Managing Director says:
“The severe climate impacts outlined by the IPCC report are a lived reality for the Pacific, this is not new to us. We continue to build solutions and resilience to these impacts through innovation, leadership at high-level climate negotiations, and centuries of indigenous knowledge. But the burden shouldn’t have to fall on us. It is time for those most responsible for the climate crisis to redirect the flow of money out of fossil fuels and into just and community-led solutions.”
The IPCC’s findings, signed off by 195 governments, will show that the most marginalised and vulnerable people are already being hit hardest by a range of devastating climate impacts from wildfires to flooding. In response, climate activists around the world are launching a series of offline and online actions to keep fossil fuels in the ground and build a sustainable future for all.
Alisi Rabukawaqa, Fijian Pacific Climate Warrior says:
“The IPCC report will highlight what communities in countries like Fiji and the Philippines already know – that climate impacts are increasingly frequent and devastating, and we have a decreasing window of time to prevent the worst of all possible futures. Initiatives like the Solar Scholars training are an example of frontline communities taking solutions to this crisis into their own hands.”
In the 3-day Solar Scholars Training held from February 22-24, participants learnt the basics of electricity solar energy and how to assemble basic solar power systems that can be used in community activities or disaster situations. ICSC’s RE-Charge Pilipinas team guided the assembly of a 300-watt solar photovoltaic (PV) community charging system online from their office in Tacloban City, Leyte.
The solar power system built in these sessions was donated to the Pacific Conference of Churches who will use it as a community charging hub.
The Solar Scholars program was created by ICSC and launched in the Philippines as a response to energy access grossly overlooked during disasters, and the harsh lessons Typhoon Haiyan taught the Philippines and the world in 2013. There are now over 400 Solar Scholars across the Philippines.
Arturo Tahup, Associate for Community Resilience, ICSC, says:
“Harnessing solar and other renewable energy is not just a means of climate change mitigation. It must be considered an integral part of humanitarian response and even long-term development planning. Solar Scholars continue to pay it forward in action, showing support and solidarity across oceans with the training in Fiji. With the severity of climate impacts outlined in the recent IPCC report, and both countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis, this is as crucial as ever.”
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