Secretariat committed to support harmonised approach to enable energy transition – CARICOM ASG

CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Economic Integration, Innovation and Development

CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Mr. Joseph Cox, has acknowledged the progress CARICOM Member States have been making in the transition to sustainable energy and has underlined the importance of collaboration and innovation.

Mr. Cox, who is the ASG with responsibility for Economic Integration, Innovation and Development, said the CARICOM Secretariat stands committed to a harmonised approach to policy and regulatory reform as the Community seeks “radical transformation and accelerated action for the Sustainable energy transition”.

He was at the time delivering remarks at the Regional Regulatory Accelerated Sustainable Energy and Resilience Workshop held on 28 February 2023. The two-day meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados, was held to strategise on how energy sector stakeholders in the region could strengthen their regulatory frameworks to expedite renewable energy investments.

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) led the two-day engagement as part of its Accelerated Sustainable Energy and Resilience Transition–2030 (ASERT-2030) framework, in partnership with the Organization of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR).

Mr. Cox registered support for the ASERT-2030 framework which he said aligns with the CARICOM Regional Energy Agenda and is a welcome intervention for increasing the pace of deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency in CARICOM. He also acknowledged the CDB as a valued partner supporting greater energy security through sustainable and resilient energy systems.

“The fundamental transformation of the energy sector of the Caribbean Community remains a strategic priority for the CARICOM Secretariat. We know that renewable energy has given us the opportunity to manage competing priorities of economic growth, social well-being and climate resilience. With the CARICOM Energy Policy and the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) as our compass, the CARICOM Energy programme is focused on a harmonised approach to the sustainable energy transition,” he said at the opening of the event.

He added that the development of competitive regional energy markets demands robust legislative and regulatory mechanisms.

The meeting was held as the Region continues to reel from the energy price shocks experienced last year, which further highlight the acute energy insecurity and economic vulnerability associated with over dependence on imported fossil fuels. It also comes against the background of slow progress towards the achievement of the regional renewable energy targets, the CDB said.

In a sign of the commitment to coordinated efforts, the event was supported by a wide range of the key development partners working in the energy space in the Caribbean. These include the government of Canada, the government of the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE).

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