Murray McCully (L), New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Dr James Fletcher, St Lucia’s Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology
APIA, Samoa -- Dr James Fletcher, minister for sustainable development, energy, science and technology, signed a geothermal support partnership framework agreement on behalf of the government of Saint Lucia with Murray McCully, the minister of foreign affairs of New Zealand.
The partnership agreement is designed to provide key technical assistance to support geothermal exploration, and help define the prospects for advancing geothermal development in Saint Lucia. The agreement is also designed to support training opportunities in geothermal energy through New Zealand development scholarships, and facilitate where possible, practical skills development opportunities.
The signing of the partnership agreement took place on Monday, the opening of the third international small island developing states (SIDS) conference in Apia, Samoa, where Fletcher is leading Saint Lucia’s delegation. The agreement represents the culmination of a series of discussions between Saint Lucia’s ministry of sustainable development, energy, science and technology and New Zealand’s ministry of foreign affairs and trade on the advancement of geothermal development, which is a critical component of the government’s plans to transition Saint Lucia away from its dependence on expensive diesel fuel for the generation of electricity.
A few hours after signing the partnership agreement with the government of New Zealand, Saint Lucia’s sustainable development minister addressed the general debate of the SIDS conference and outlined the importance of building partnerships between governments, and with civil society and the private sector to solve the many problems and challenges confronting SIDS.