A year that will have a lasting impact – CARICOM Secretary-General



End of Year Message

by the Secretary-General

of the

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque


There is no doubt that the events of 2017 will have a lasting impact on our Community.  The ravaging effects of this year’s hurricane season will cast a long shadow over our Community for some time yet.

Six of our Members and several of our Caribbean neighbours experienced the wrath of unprecedented back-to-back Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The heavy toll of lives, property and infrastructure had an effect wider than the affected countries.  Our Community has bonded together, as its governments, people and institutions render yeoman support to the stricken countries.  The international community has been at our side in the relief undertaking in a highly appreciated show of solidarity.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, (CDEMA) the Community’s specialised institution, performed magnificently as it coordinated the relief efforts and helped to set the stage for recovery.  I must extend the Region’s gratitude to the Agency for a job well done.  The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) was also prompt in meeting its commitments to the affected countries with the appropriate policies.

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Caribbean closer to having a Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code

Participants at the meeting
Participants at the meeting

With just a few months left before the Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code (REEBC) is taken to the Council of Trade and Economic Development (COTED), Caribbean energy experts are confident that Member States will accept the code that has been developed after a series of regional consultations.

Speaking at the final Regional Project Team (RPT) meeting for the CARICOM Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code (CREEBC) in Suriname, Mr. Norbert Churchill, Chairman of the Regional Project Team, noted that there was an urgent need for the Region to accept and implement such a code. He highlighted the recent catastrophic hurricanes that battered the Region and explained that Regional leaders agreed that it was time to establish policies, standards and codes that would help to strengthen the resilience of the Caribbean.

According to World Trade Organisation (WTO) guidelines, any standard developed is a voluntary document so it is the responsibility of the Member State to adopt and implement accordingly.


Building codes for energy efficiency in focus at Suriname meetings

RE-building-codes-black-and-whiteThe final meeting of the Regional Project Team for the Development of the Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code (REEBC), will be convened in Paramaribo, Suriname, 7-8 December, 2017.

The meeting will be preceded by Suriname’s national stakeholder consultation on the REEBC on 6 December, 2017, which will be hosted at Anton de Kom University of Suriname with the support of the University’s Board.

The establishment of the REEBC is a very important step in creating a clear and generally-accepted framework for maximising the efficiency of energy services in buildings.  This is a high priority given that approximately 40% of final energy is consumed in buildings in the Region. This represents a large proportion of the foreign exchange requirements for fueling the energy economies in the Region. (more…)

Push for change at individual level towards energy efficiency

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The role of individuals in energy conservation and efficiency across the Region was underscored on Monday during the launch of the Regional Building Energy Efficiency Programme (RBEEP) at the CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana.

Influencing a difference in their outlook and the way that people utilise energy in their own spheres, is one of the key outcomes that the RBEEP hopes to achieve.

The RBEEP is geared at cutting energy use in buildings in the Region while maintaining the quality of energy provided; reducing demand for imported fuel; and stimulating replication in CARICOM.

Speakers at the day-long forum highlighted the importance, not only of changes at the national, policy, administrative and technical levels, but also the critical impact of actions at a personal level.

Energy Conservation Tips
Turn off and unplug all appliances and equipment when not in use; Use lights only when necessary and remember to turn off all switches;  Replace all incandescent bulbs with new CFL or LED bulbs; Always remember to put a lid on the pot when cooking; Fix leaky faucets; Turn off all taps tightly; Minismise the opening and closing of air conditioned rooms; Use natural air conditioning. Build with good ventilation; Remember to save energy by car pooling; Buy energy efficiency appliances

CARICOM launches regional Building Energy Efficiency Programme

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) ,on December 4, will launch a programme to improve the use of energy in buildings across the Region. The Regional Building Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) will be launched at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.

The launch follows the introduction of BEEPs at the CARICOM Secretariat in December 2014, and at the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission in August 2015.

The BEEPS are being done to address the dependence on fossil fuels and economic vulnerability as a result of the inefficient energy use in buildings in the Community.

BEEPs Background                      

With energy efficiency as a priority of the CARICOM Energy Policy and the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS), a collaborative approach was developed to target energy use in building. The Regional Collaboration for Efficient Energy Use in Buildings (RCEEB) was spearheaded by the CARICOM Energy Unit and the CARICOM Regional Organisations for Standards and Quality (CROSQ).  Regional and international partners are also supporting the project within the overall framework of the RCEEB. (more…)