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OAS workshop in St Lucia reviews sustainable energy initiatives in the Caribbean
Published on August 20, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- Representatives of regional and global development partners in the energy sector of the Caribbean met on Tuesday with senior energy officials from Caribbean countries in a regional workshop organized by the Organization of American States (OAS) in Saint Lucia aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of donor interventions in the region.

The regional workshop, entitled “Development of Sustainable energy projects: experiences, strategies and implementation,” organized by the Department of Sustainable Development of the OAS in the framework of the sustainable energy capacity building initiative (SECBI) of the Energy and Climate Change Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), has brought together the major donor partners involved in the energy sector in the region against the backdrop of increased activity toward the transformation of the energy outlook of the Caribbean.

During the workshop, representatives of major development partners including the Carbon War Room, the Caribbean Development Bank, the European Union and the United States Department of State are discussing with country representatives which interventions have been successful, as well as identifying their priority activities in the short to medium term.

Addressing the opening of the workshop, the director of the Department of Sustainable Development of the OAS, Cletus Springer, applauded what he called “the renaissance” that is taking place in the energy sector of the Caribbean. He noted that while the region was making strong strides towards sustainable energy pathways, it was critical that this be done within a coordinated and strategic framework that allows countries to learn from each other.

During his remarks, the minister for public service, sustainable development, energy, science and technology of Saint Lucia, James Fletcher, highlighted the importance of sustaining efforts to transform the energy sector in the region. He noted that current energy rates in the region are undermining the competitiveness of productive sectors and must be addressed, if the region is to stand any chance of boosting its sustainable development.

This is the second workshop on strengthening energy capacity sustainability offered by SECBI under the ECPA. The workshops seek to encourage debate and promote better understanding on topics needed to addresses critical commercialization challenges related to encouraging less environmentally harmful energy technologies.

The work being done by the OAS through this initiative in the Caribbean seeks to facilitate the transition toward a market that favours diversified energy technologies with low carbon emissions and reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels, whose high and fluctuating values have a negative impact on the trade balance of small island states.
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