CARICOM Energy Month launches on Friday in Montserrat

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FLASHBACK: The nominees of the first CARICOM Energy Personality Award. Second from left is winner, Hannah Olmberg-Soesman. The award, in the foreground, was presented to Olmberg-Soesman earlier this year

BRADES, Montserrat — CARICOM Energy Month (CEM) will be launched 2 November, in Brades, Montserrat, with a focus on empowering youths for a sustainable energy future. The launch includes a symposium featuring a panel discussion on geothermal energy, energy conservation measures and electric vehicles.

The Month is observed in November each year. It serves to increase awareness of energy matters in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and celebrate the strides the Community has made to transition to a clean energy pathway. The month of activities evolved from CARICOM Energy Week (CEW), which was established in 2011.

Since its inauguration in 2016, CEM has become the seminal event on the calendar of energy stakeholders including academia, policy-makers, the private sector, youth, and development partners.

The ultimate goal is to achieve long-term, lasting behavioural changes. A wide cross-section of society and stakeholders will be engaged to ensure that individuals and organisations understand the impacts of, and take action to respond to critical energy issues.

The regional theme is ‘Clean Energy, Good Governance and Regulations: Generating Growth and Resilience’. A major focus of CEM 2018 is building awareness on the climate and disaster resilience within the energy sector. Against the backdrop of the hurricanes that hit the Caribbean last year, causing extensive damage to electric grids and disrupting networks and other critical infrastructure, the objectives of the observances are:

• Increasing the understanding of energy issues of the region and the many solutions to achieve a transformation in the sustainable energy sector;

• Educating the public and other identified target groups on the risks to the energy sector from climate-change and natural disasters;

• Improving understanding of disaster risk management best practices in the power sector;

• Building awareness on disaster preparedness related to energy with focus on low cost, resilience strategies; and

• Establishing networks amongst institutions of various sectors to foster and improve regional collaboration and coordination on energy and climate resilience issues.

This year, the activities include art and essay competitions for youths, the hunt for the second CARICOM Energy Personality and a Regional Energy Kilo Walk. The Sixth edition of the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum (CSEF) will also be held during the Month in Belize.

In addition to the regional programme, national activities will be held in member states.

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