About Us

In 2012, the Climate Institute announced VISION 20/30 at the historic Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

Rio20-3 Vision for the Independence of Small Islands from Fossil Energy

Vision 20/30 Press Releases


Winter 2012Dec2012

Summer 2012


Winter 2011



The GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE ENERGY ISLANDS INITIATIVE Consortium was formed in 2000 to accelerate the transition AOSIS member nations toward cleaner, more sustainable energy use. As of 2009, GSEII consortium programs are in 9 islands in the Caribbean, Pacific, and Indian Ocean regions. Small Island Developing States also produce only a tiny fraction of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, their location makes them extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise and extreme weather conditions.

GSEII Projects and Goals

GSEII works at the national level to develop strategic frameworks for sustainable energy development in the islands— including the necessary policy and regulatory environment, institutional capacity, outreach and awareness, and project support. The overall goals of the initiative are to:

  • reduce dependence on fossil fuels and eliminating related trade deficits
  • secure energy independence
  • reduce negative impacts on local environments
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • encourage private investment and trade
  • enhance socioeconomic development
  • present the island nations’ sustainable energy paths as examples for larger countries to follow

The size of the islands makes them a viable starting point for the implementation of such policies and technologies. Program successes on these islands can be reproduced elsewhere on a larger scale as demonstrations of sustainable development.

The Founding of GSEII

The impetus for forming GSEII came from a 1998 request from the Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) to the Climate Institute for assistance in implementing the provisions of the 1994 Barbados Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS.

This initiative was organized to expand on the Climate Institute’s work in St. Lucia, which in 1999 became the first small island state to announce its commitment to become a Sustainable Energy Island Nation and transform its energy systems from a fossil fuel base to renewable and energy efficient systems.

GSEII was later launched in November 2000 at the Sixth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP6) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

From 2001 to July 2009, approximately $1 million have been spent for the preparation of national and sustainable energy plans, bio-fuel feasibility studies, energy-efficient lighting and training courses and renewable energy projects.

Initial funding for GSEII was received from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and from the UN Foundation (as administered by the U.N. Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)).

The Structure

The Global Sustainable Energy Islands Initiative is a consortium comprised of NGOs and multilateral institutions which hold a common idea and goal for SIDS. In this sense, GSEII projects are those which consortium members plan and implement with the intention of furthering the GSEII goals.

Often, GSEII partners work independently on projects that extend beyond the scope and scale of GSEII initiatives, as they relate to their respective organizations. They coordinate their activities with other programs and regional organizations and carry out further activities to achieve strong social, economic, and environmental improvements on SIDS.

Formally, the consortium is coordinated by the Climate Institute (CI) and is partnered with the U.N. Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). GSEII’s strength is in the foundation of the consortium, as major partners can proceed with projects while others may struggle – ensuring a constant presence on the islands.