New technologies to reduce dependence on fossil fuel

Picture: FT FILE

TRANSFORMING the transport sector to invest in new technology that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuel transport systems is a challenge.

Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) team leader Program Management Mark Borg, in a Pacific Islands Transport Forum press conference last week, said the transport sector was a multi-trillion dollar industry when we considered aviation, shipping and land transport.

Mr Borg said most of the transport sector was managed by the private sectors and therefore it was important for the private sector to be deeply involved in the transition of sustainable transport.

“Unfortunately up to now there has been little investment from government, international communities or even from the private sector in leading this strategy and what we are asking the private sector to do is to invest more money into new technology which will move us away from our current dependence on fossil fuels,” Mr Borg said.

“We are just not here talking about the climate change issue and the emissions because as you know the Pacific contributes very little of those emissions but importantly our dependence on fossil fuels which is all imported and all that money we spend on fossil fuel can be better spend by our countries on social issues — on education and health.”

Mr Borg added the transport forum today was not only about climate change but about our countries development and making better use of our resources.

“One thing we want to do is to at the forum is to try and demonstrate through an exposition running parallel to the forum where we want the private sector to come and show what is already available.

“There has been quite a lot of technology being developed recently that are already available on the market like electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles and new recharge stations for these vehicles that are completely solar so the world is moving in the right direction but not as fast as we would like it to. “As Pacific Island countries, we usually lack behind. We need to catch up because it is important for our countries.

“This time around we want to be at the forefront of these technologies and as we go along there are going to be more technology being developed in the sector and we need people to see this technology, touch them with their hands and make a judgement on whether they would be able to use this new technology rather than the old one that relies on fossil fuels.”