Consumers at the Heart of Clean Energy Transition – Council

March 16, 2023

“As leaders in different sectors, you must step in and invest in transition towards cleaner energy. We cannot sit on our laurels and expect developed countries to change their actions! We must lead by example!”. This was the message delivered by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communications Honorable Manoa Kamikamica while officiating at the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) Celebration at the Suvavou house in Suva earlier today.

Co-ordinated by Consumers International, the membership organization for consumer groups around the world and celebrated annually on March 15th, WCRD takes place every year to highlight the importance of consumer protection and empowerment. The theme for this year’s WCRD is “Empowering consumers through clean energy transitions”.

Hon. Kamikamica stressed the importance of clean energy and the role of consumers, private sector players, industries and the government in bring about impactful changes.

“Our vision is for a clean, green and equitable energy future. The rapid transition to renewable energy will be good for people and the planet. Therefore, I would like to assure all that your government is committed to accelerating the transition to clean energy. Over the next few years, we will focus on amplifying the current policies relating to clean energy and work hand in hand with stakeholders such as yourselves to map a greener path for Fiji.” said Hon Kamikamica.

While delivering her remarks at the celebration, Consumer Council of Fiji Chief Executive Ms Seema Shandil said amid the greatest cost-of-living crisis in a generation and as the energy world grapples with supply and climate issues, consumers have a core role to play in supporting and pushing for a just transition.

“This World Consumer Rights Day, we are trying to demonstrate how the choices we make each day as consumers, in how we travel, cook, or heat or cool our homes, have the potential to accelerate transformative changes for the planet, and to call on governments and business to provide greater support for people making these changes. We need to work hand in hand in order to discuss the energy issues and develop effective and sustainable path to clean energy transition,” stated Ms Shandil.

Ms Shandil further stressed that the opportunities for people and planet are clear. But there are many challenges such as availability, affordability and accessibility to clean energy and corresponding products needs to be overcome and lack of consumer empowerment. Consumers also need to have access to relevant knowledge and information on the need and opportunities for the transition.

During the WCRD celebrations earlier today, the Council brought together stakeholders, consumers and other actors in the energy sector to engage in robust discussions on how this can be achieved. This was done in the form of a panel discussion.

World Consumer Rights Day is the United Nations accredited campaign, globally co-ordinated by Consumers International and celebrated annually on 15 March since 1983. Each 15 March the consumer movement unites to highlight a pressing issue facing consumers globally.

To find out more about World Consumer Rights Day, consumers can contact the Council on toll-free number 155.

The Council staff and board members with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communications Honorable Manoa Kamikamica at the World Consumer Rights Day Celebrations 2023.