Building climate and disaster resilience major focus of CARICOM Energy Month
It’s that time of year again, the time when we ramp up our awareness of energy matters in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and celebrate the strides we have made to transition to a clean energy pathway.
CARICOM Energy Month (CEM) will be observed in November, under the Regional theme ‘Clean Energy, Good Governance & Regulations: Generating Growth and Resilience’. This year, the Month will be launched in Brades, Montserrat on 2 November, with a focus on empowerment of youths for a sustainable energy future.
The Month of activities evolved from CARICOM Energy Week (CEW) which was established in 2011 following a mandate from Caribbean Energy Ministers. 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. It is intended to engage a wide cross-section of society and stakeholders, to ensure that individuals and organisations understand the impacts of, and take action to respond to critical energy issues.
In addition to the regional programme, national activities will be held in Member States.
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:
i. Increasing the understanding of energy issues of the Region and the many solutions to achieve a transformation in the sustainable energy sector
I. Educating the public and other identified target groups on the risks to the energy sector from climate-change and natural disasters
II. Improving understanding of disaster risk management best practices in the power sector
III. Building awareness on disaster preparedness related to energy with focus on low cost, resilience strategies
IV. 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 a Regional Energy Kilo Walk, art and essay competitions for youths, and the hunt for the second CARICOM Energy Personality. The Sixth edition of the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum will also be held during the Month in Belize.
Please see the details of the CEM activities:
Energy Personality Award
The CARICOM Energy Personality Award was launched via a call for nominations in November for CARICOM Energy Month 2017. It aims to celebrate the achievements and show appreciation to individuals who have made a meaningful impact and contribution to achieving the goal of a sustainable energy future in CARICOM.
This year, the award will honor individuals through various categories including: Lifetime Achievement, Projects, Youth and Community.
Regional Youth Essay Competition
The CARICOM Secretariat in collaboration with Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) will launch the Regional Youth Essay Competition for CEM 2018. The competition begins on 1 November and concludes on 30 November. Judging will be done in January, 2019.
This competition will commence on November 1st and submissions will be allowed until November 30th, 2018. Judging will take place in January 2019.
Young Energy Artist Competition
The Young Energy Artist Competition seeks to engage children, parents and teachers to work together to create knowledge around the value of energy and the importance of using energy responsibly through art. The Competition will be held for the period 1-30 November 2018 with judging taking place in January 2019.
Three works of art will be selected as the winning entries by a panel of judges. The pieces will be featured on the CARICOM Energy and CARICOM Secretariat social media and websites and duplicates may be used in future publications such as a Regional calendar.
Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum
The Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum is a CARICOM biennial event where key national, regional and international stakeholders, from the public and private sectors, take stock of the present state and realign their outlook on the pursuit of a sustainable energy pathway within the Region.
The CSEF VI will be held in Placencia, Belize on 19-21 November 2018, under the theme: ‘Clean Energy, Good Governance and Regulation’.
The Forum is organised by the CARICOM Secretariat and the Government of Belize, with CARILEC, OOCUR, BEL and the PUC as strategic partners. It will feature a mix of keynote lectures, as well plenary, concurrent and special sessions, including a High-level Ministerial Panel, 19-20 November.
Additionally, two concurrent technical workshops will be held on 21 November:
Workshop 1: Innovation in rate making – Incentivising investment and ensuring affordability, and
Workshop 2: Structuring PPAs – Balancing Competition and Investments within the Small Electricity Markets
In particular, CSEF-VI will focus on the development of a deeper understanding on the “right” support frameworks and partnerships that are necessary to unlock the finances to deliver “affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for citizens and businesses within CARICOM. More than 100 participants are expected at the Forum, constituting a mix of Energy Ministers from Member States; senior officials from national, regional and international institutions; business leaders; and industry experts.
The Forum was previously held in St. Georges, Grenada (July 2008); Montego Bay, Jamaica (June 2010); Frigate Bay, St. Kitts (September 2012); and St. Michael’s, Barbados (November 2014); and Nassau, The Bahamas (January 2017).
Regional Energy Kilo-walk
The CARICOM Secretariat, in collaboration with the Guyana Energy Agency and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, will hold the third edition of the Regional Energy Kilo-walk in Guyana 1 December. The slogan for the walk is ‘Stepping into a RE-silient Region’.
The Kilo-Walk has traditionally targeted a wide cross-section of participants including students, the private sector, civil society, Government officials, and CARICOM Secretariat Staff.