Energy and Climate

Energy and Sustainable Development

Energy is central to sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts. It affects all aspects of development -- social, economic, and environmental -- including livelihoods, access to water, agricultural productivity, health, population levels, education, and gender-related issues.

Energy is another essential ingredient for a good quality of life and crucial for economic activity. Government action will focus on the SEA Strategy, that is Sustainability, Efficiency and Accessibility. Government seeks to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in Mauritius and outer islands to create a healthy environment. Major steps have been taken in this way.


The Power Sector Expansion Plan is being implemented to provide a reliable electricity supply using least cost clean technologies including affordable renewable energy sources. Furthermore, measures will be implemented to promote energy saving and efficiency at all levels.

To encourage the use of renewable energy, the following actions are being taken :

• finalisation, with international contribution, of the Master Plan for Renewable Energy;
• Production of Electricity through wind turbines of 30 MW will be fed into the national grid in 2013;
• encouraging Small Independent Power Producers to increase the renewable energy mix and so further democratise the energy sector;
• commissioning a grid connected Solar PV farm of up to 10 MW;
• commissioning a hydro power plant at Midlands;
• solar water heater scheme for at least 40,000 families to reduce electricity consumption, CO2 emission and at the same time, to enable each and every Mauritian to enjoy the comfort of having access to warm water
• encouraging business, residents, communities and local authorities to install Photovoltaic panels to generate their own electricity and surplus to be sold to the Central Electricity Board;
• developing a resource efficient and cleaner production (RECP) programme in Mauritius aims at promoting the greening of industry and sustainable consumption and production through the establishment of national capacity and the promotion of the uptake of RECP concepts, methods, practices and policies.
• Setting up of Building Energy Efficiency Scheme.

Government is committed to promoting an integrated strategy to help Mauritian become more energy efficient, in particular, on how to increase energy efficiency in their home and reduce their household carbon footprint.

What is climate change?

Mauritius is home to a wide range of landscapes and ecosystems. Our mountainous landscapes, pristine beaches and tropical climate is often described as a paradise. Our population of diverse cultures and rare species of plants and animals attracts a large number of tourists every year.

But with rising sea levels, altered rain patterns and fiercer storms threatening the island nation in the Indian Ocean, the residents of Mauritius must brace themselves for the impact of climate change.


Mauritian people and its ecosystems will feel the effects of a changing climate in all these environments. Changes to our climate will exacerbate natural variability, making it more difficult to manage our landscapes and ecosystems and the human activities that depend on them. Communities already affected by climate variability will be challenged by a climate shift. Our unique ecosystems will also experience the pressure of the rapid change in climatic conditions and in their habitat.


Climate Change Impacts in Mauritius and Outer Islands

The natural, social, and economic systems of Mauritius and its outer islands are all likely to be affected by the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Mauritius is expected to become hotter, with the greatest increases in temperature expected to occur during summer. Mauritius is likely to experience a slight decrease in summer rainfall.


The type, frequency and intensity of natural hazards are expected to change as the Earth's climate changes, and these changes could occur even with relatively small mean climate changes. Sea levels are expected to rise, increasing coastal erosion and flooding that will affect our beaches and estuaries.


In a recent study carried out by Friends of the Word International, Rodrigues’ island is heavily impacted by climate change, farming and fishing in particular. Local people report less rainfall, with winters becoming colder and summers becoming hotter. Soil fertility is decreasing, and livestock growth and food crop production have been negatively affected. There is a noticeable loss of biodiversity, while formerly eradicated insects and parasites have returned, all combining to increase farmers’ poverty. As for fishing, respondents report rougher seas which hamper fishing, cooler waters, and more energy and money expended on smaller catches. They complained that the sea is more polluted, and that the island’s major lagoon is virtually without fish, while some fish species have disappeared from the seas. They also note that the sea level is rising.

Emissions Reduction

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential to slow the rate of climate change.

The Republic of Mauritius was among the first countries to sign the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in September 1992 and acceded to the Kyoto Protocol on 9 May 2001. However the Kyoto Protocol became operational only as from 16 February 2005.


The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the flexible mechanisms put in place under the KP to enable industrialised countries to meet their GHG emission reduction targets by funding projects in developing countries with the aim of achieving sustainable development. Under the CDM, emission reduction projects are undertaken in developing countries, with very often lower greenhouse gas abatement costs than if carried out in industrialised countries. Eligible greenhouse gases are: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons (PFC’s), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC’s) and sulphur hexafluoride).


Mauritius is eligible, as a non-annex 1 party and signatory to the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, to host CDM projects. For each ton of carbon dioxide equivalent that is reduced as a result of a CDM project, a Certified Emission Reduction unit (CER), also termed “carbon credit”, is issued and can be used/purchased by industrialised countries for the fulfilment of their commitments. CERs can be sold by the project participant, thereby generating a monetary revenue stream (denominated in hand currency typically Euros).
Since 2003, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, play a vital role to facilitate business entities in Mauritius to trade in carbon credits. The Ministry administers all project applications for CDM approval, consistent with the country’s sustainable development priorities. In addition, since 2010, CDM projects are regulated through the Environment Protection Regulations 2010.

Potential projects include, inter-alia: use of renewable energy; use of biomass residues; energy efficiency measures and waste management practices


Adapting to Climate Change

Helping communities adapt

Despite the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, some level of climate change is now inevitable. Government is committed to minimize the impacts of climate change on communities.


Adaptation is a way of taking advantage of the benefits and minimizing the costs of climate change. Adaptation complements emission reduction measures and is a necessary part of addressing the climate change challenge.


Helping Local Authorities adapt

The Government is committed to 'assist local authorities to build resilience to future extreme events and hazards by helping them to understand and minimize the impacts of climate change'. Helping local authority to help municipalities and local government manage and build resilience to the projected impacts of climate change.


Infrastructure in a changing climate

Climate change will have significant impacts on infrastructure in Mauritius. Because of the long life of infrastructure assets, it will be particularly important to incorporate climate change risks into infrastructure planning and management.


Preparing Mauritius for Climate Change

The 1.3 Million inhabitants of the island Mauritius s forecast to grow, while at the same time, the challenges of climate change are likely to become more apparent heat waves, sea level rise, and more variable rainfall are among the key challenges Mauritius will face. Government has taken steps to integrate and mainstream climate change adaptation in core development policy, strategies and plans for the Republic of Mauritius (Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agalega). Several studies have been undertaken and these include:
• Climate Change Action Plan (December 1998)
• Initial National Communication (April 1999)
• Technology Needs Assessment (2004)
• National Capacity Needs Assessment (2005)
• Education and public awareness by Ministry of Environment & other stakeholders
• Second National Communication completed (2011)
• Second TNA initiated (2011)
• Climate Change Adaptation Programme in the Coastal Zone of Mauritius;
• Climate Change Observatory (CCO)

National Action

Responding effectively to climate change requires action at the local, national and international levels.

The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development coordinates the Government’s climate change policy agenda across three pillars:

• mitigation to reduce Mauritius’ greenhouse gas emissions
• adaptation to the climate change that cannot be avoided
• shaping a global solution - helping to reach a collective international response.

The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development has recently participated in a “Regional capacity building for sustainable National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Management Systems in Eastern and Southern Africa”, organized by UNFCCC Secretariats.

Photo gallery Opening ceremony of consultative WG 
14 June 2011
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