The Cook Islands must invest heavily in renewable energy, backed by strong political support, said the country’s prime minister Henry Puna.

He was speaking at the signing ceremony for the $1m Rakahanga PV Project, being funded by the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund, set up by Japan to support solar power generation and sea water desalination projects.

The Cook Islands government has set a goal of generating half of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015 and all by 2020.

The most vulnerable and isolated islands will be given priority, said Puna.

“We know that the use of fossil fuels is a big contributor to carbon emission, which is a significant contributor to climate change,” he said.

“Although our emission is tiny compared to bigger countries, and the impact of natural disasters are much harsher on us, we all need to work together to ensure that our environment can sustain us and future generations.”

For more Asia news click here