CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen,
Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Ministers of Energy of
the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Friday
afternoon characterised a Meeting in Port of Spain,
as historic, given their approval of the Regional
Energy Policy that will guide the Community in its
pursuit of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The approval of the policy was the highpoint of the
Forty-First Special Meeting of the Council for Trade
and Economic Development (COTED) on Energy held at
the Hyatt Regency.
For more than a decade, the policy, which was
mandated by the CARICOM Heads of Government, was
under formulation and review. The goal of the policy
is the fundamental transformation of the energy
sector of CARICOM through the provision of secure
and sustainable supplies of energy in a manner which
minimizes energy waste in all sectors. Targets
towards such efficiency have been set in the policy.
The document will now be presented to the Heads of
Government of CARICOM for endorsement.
After encouraging his colleagues at the Opening
Ceremony to “walk the talk,” Chair of the Meeting,
the Hon Rayburn Blackmoore, Minister of Public
Works, Energy and Ports of Dominica, announced the
policy’s approval at a Press Conference Friday
According to Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs,
Trinidad and Tobago, Senator the Honourable Kevin
Ramnarine, the policy’s approval was a “very
significant achievement for COTED.”
Minister of Energy of Jamaica, the Honourable
Phillip Paulwell acknowledged that there was a lack
of regional unity in the energy sector.
“Today is quite historic,” he said, and a “great
day” for Caribbean integration in that after more
than a decade, there is now a regional energy
“We have set the stage now for a sustained focus now
on solving our energy problems. The first energy
crisis occurred some 40 years ago and we as a Region
have not been able to resolve that. Until we have
cheaper sources of energy, we will not get our
region to advance as quickly as it ought to and this
policy is seeking to do just that,” Minister
Paulwell pointed out.
Noting that the energy issue was one that struck at
the heart of humanity and “our people,” Belize
Minister with responsibility of Energy, the Hon. Joy
Grant said that she was happy that the Meeting had
approved the policy that would set outer bounds of
“what we have to do.”
“This is a very good start… I see this as a really
great day. Moving from this day onward, we will now
be able to implement what we have been talking about
for so long…,” Minister Grant said.
The one-day meeting also discussed matters such as
the development and implementation of the Caribbean
Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS),
the management if energy information systems, and
the development of geothermal energy.