A collective approach to developing the region’s renewable energy resources, improving the use of energy and increasing resilience to climate change, has reached its next step in development.
Set to be up and running by the end of the year, the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) is expected to be a medium used at the inter and intra-regional SIDS levels, to share individual experiences, knowledge and skills, as well as to nurture further development among the SIDS within the Caribbean region.
This is according to Prime Minister of Barbados and Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, the Hon. Freundel Stuart, while speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the facility, which was chosen to be located in Barbados, and will be based in Country Road, St. Michael.
Saying that in a sense it will be the implementation for the region’s sustainable energy programmes, Prime Minister Stuart says it is being established to provide the Caribbean with the specialised institutional capacity, and it will also be the co-ordinating regional hub and think tank for sustainable energy and activities.
Pointing to the drain on region’s resources on imported fuels, Prime Minister Stuart noted that the region is rich in renewable energy resources, ranging from hydro to solar, and from wind to geothermal. He lamented that the region simply does not have the resources to exploit these sources of energy for the benefit of our people.
“We must therefore enter into meaningful partnerships with the international community, being acutely aware that Caribbean states which will be among those most heavily impacted by climate change, must be in the vanguard of the effects to ameliorate its impact… We must tack our challenges through the forging of essential partnerships and synergies.”
The CARICOM Chairman explained that the absence of inter-island co-operation within SIDS regions and between SIDS regions is one of the most critical obstacles to be urgently addressed with respect of the implementation of the SIDS agenda, and the post-2015 Development agenda.
“The absence of such a mechanism, commonly referred to as ‘SIDS Collectivity’, which refers to SIDS countries speaking with one voice, is perceived to be one of the main reasons that SIDS specific practical and pragmatic actions have been lacking in our individual approach to the sustainable development of our countries.”
He lamented that challenges over the last two decades have proven that the lack of a SIDS inter-governmental institutional mechanism to drive sustainable development in SIDS has retarded progress and yielded mixed results in respect of the region’s collective goals.
Prime Minister Stuart recognised the partnership to make CCREEE a reality. These include the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, The Sustainable Energy Island Initiative and the Austrian Development Agency.
He also noted that all of these agencies are to be commended for this laudable effort, which took several years of preparation.
Source: Barbados Advocate