HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 650: 23 January 2013

Cook Islands first Pacific nation to receive assistance from Clinton Foundation

The Cook Islands is set to become the first Pacific nation to receive the services of the Clinton Foundation.
Since 2007, the William J Clinton Foundation has been providing an advisory service to countries on the implementation of clean energy programmes. It’s known as the Clinton Climate Initiative.
On Tuesday morning the Herald met and spoke with James Baird PhD, Director of the Clean Energy program and Daniel Springer.
Dr Baird is based in Melbourne, Australia and Springer in Boston, USA.
Both men arrived on Sunday and have been in discussions with Renewable Energy personnel including the Energy Commissioner, Roger de Bray, at the Prime Minister’s Office.
On this short trip (they depart Tuesday afternoon) the intention was to maintain a low profile.
Their presence here is as a result of a meeting which took place between Prime Minister Henry Puna, Liz Koteka and Tangi Tereapii with the Chairman of the Clinton Foundation Fund, Ira Mazagine in Barbados.
The purpose of the Cook Islands visit is to investigate developing a partnership with our government on clean energy plans. To this end, a draft Memorandum of Understanding has been prepared.
The Foundation’s role is to advise on implementation and work within government’s planned programme. They are not here to give broad policy advice or influence the direction government is heading.
The Foundation’s aim is to reduce dependency on diesel fuel.
The Foundation has no commercial interest in outcomes and has no affiliations with any commercial interests.
Both acknowledged the huge technical advancements with solar power generation which they say is constantly evolving. Solar panels have also come down significantly in cost. Panels today are one third of what they used to cost and the savings are around 20%. Globally, there is about 30 Giga watts provided through solar systems.
The Foundation has been active in a number of other countries including; China, India and Asian nations.
Baird said they plan to return at a later date.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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