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Highlights of climate-energy conference on Reunion Island

Highlights of climate-energy conference on Reunion Island (Forimmediaterelease.net) The International Climate and Energy Conference took place on Reunion Island from June 24-26, 2014. It was organized by the Regional Council of La Reunion, in collaboration with The Climate Group and R20 (20 Regions). The conference was placed under the theme, “Islands and Climate Change: Opportunities, Resilience, Adaptation.” On this occasion, the meeting received personalities involved in the protection of the environment, including Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy of the President of the Republic for the Protection of the Planet, and Melanie Laurent, actress and director of the film, “Tomorrow.”

A few hours before the official launch of the first International Conference on Climate and Energy, Nicolas Hulot recognized the inventiveness and involvement in the ecology of schools on the island, including innovative sustainable project development, such as a solar boat, module production of bioethanol from sugar juices, a solar oven, and electric karts. This was a high point for the young people whose imaginative commitment to the planet was welcomed by Hulot.

Alongside Nicolas Hulot at the conference were Mark Kenber, President of The Climate Group; Nico Barito, representing R20; Francois Fortier, an expert at the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development; Jeffrey Skeer, representing the IRENA; Melanie Laurent, actress, and Cyril Dion, Co-Director of the film, ‘Tomorrow;’ Luc Bas, President of IUCN; and the President of the Regional Council of Reunion, Didier Robert, who opened the conference.

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between R20 and Meeting Energy Indian Ocean took place to position the region as a R20 hub. The objective of this MOU is to create a regional center for research and development, training, and funding in the Indian Ocean area. The main tasks of the center are to support the development of innovative technologies, the development of training sessions in the field of renewable energy, and the search for private investors.

The signing of a Declaration of Intent for a contribution of islands to climate change reflects the partnership concerns and shared expectations of the island territories. This statement will be completed during the next international meetings in the field of climate, to be held in Samoa; at a leaders' summit to be held in New York in September; and at the International Conference on Biodiversity and Climate Change to be held in Guadeloupe in October 2014. The document will be presented as the “Declaration of Islands on Climate Change" at the 21st conference of the parties, COP21 climate-Paris 2015, to be held in Paris in 2015.

This agreement aims to continue the development of a land-based OTEC prototype, with 100% marine renewable energy without carbon, leaving the possibility for co-design in such areas as air conditioning.

MEDIA CONTACT: Reunion Island Tourism Board, Tel: +33 810 160 000, Fax: +262 262 21 00 21, Web: www.reunion.fr

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