The transition to clean, affordable and efficient modern energy services in the Caribbean region is the focus of the landmark two-day “EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference”.
The conference provided the scene for forging a new partnership between the EU and the Caribbean region on sustainable energy, which is was sealed with the signing of a Joint Declaration on Sustainable Energy among the EU, CARIFORUM and the European Investment Bank (EIB), along with several important political and financial agreements. These agreements reflect the commitment of the EU and the EIB to support the Caribbean to achieve their part of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Organised by the European Union and CARIFORUM, the conference brings together over 300 participants, which includes high-level representatives from Caribbean countries, the European Union, regional and international financial institutions, and multilateral organisations, as well as the private sector and civil society. The Prime Ministers of Barbados and St Maarten, as well as Energy Ministers from Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and Suriname are lending their weight to this important dialogue.
The Secretary General of CARICOM and CARIFORUM, Ambassador Irwin Larocque said: “Access to secure, costeffective energy is indispensable to economic transformation in the Caribbean Community.” In highlighting “the catalytic role of the energy sector” for socioeconomic issues, such as the enabling of education, health and sustainable agriculture, and creating jobs, the SecretaryGeneral stated that: “The linkages between sustainable energy and sustainable development are clear. The economic, social and environmental resilience, including adaptation to climate change, is targeted by the CARICOM Five Year Strategic Plan.”
The European Commission’s Deputy Director General for Energy, Christopher Jones, said “This is the first ever conference between the Caribbean region and the European Union on the vital topic of sustainable energy. Far more than just setting an example and sharing its experience, the EU has put aside approximately 200 million EUR for cooperation with the Caribbean region in the area of sustainable energy. Not only is it important to work on the regulatory and policy framework, the EU’s aim is also to get the private sector on board, as their investments are key to unlocking the region’s huge sustainable energy potential.”