Press release 46/2013
(04 MARCH 2013)

CARICOM energy ministers hail energy policy approval as significant achievement


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 afternoon.

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 policy.

“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.


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