Twenty small island developing states, dubbed SIDS, signed a declaration in Barbados that outlines ways to combat poverty through economic growth by way of an affordable renewable energy strategy.
The so-called Barbados Declaration states SIDS could develop renewable energy programs such as wind, solar, geothermal and marine energy where commercially feasible.
Host country Barbados committed to getting 29 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2029. Seychelles aims to get 15 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2030, while Maldives said it expects to become carbon neutral by 2020.
Rising sea levels and global climate change threaten to submerge the Maldives within decades.
"(T)hese technologies must be made accessible, affordable and adaptable to the needs and particular circumstances of SIDS communities," the declaration read. "In this regard, we strongly urge the international community, particularly developed countries, to ensure the provision of financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building to SIDS."
The declaration was adopted one month ahead of the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro.