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Regional countries to collaborate on renewable energy

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 | 7:57 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica - Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have agreed to work together to ensure the region develops an adequate renewable energy programme, according to junior Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM) Julian Robinson.

Robinson returned yesterday from a two-day renewable energy summit held in Malta hosted by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and attended also by delegates from Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Barbados, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Dominica.

A government statement said that Robinson had summoned a meeting of CARICOM member states to examine how the regional countries can interact with entities like IRENA to source assistance, grants, and other financial instruments “to facilitate joined-up projects rather than compete head on for instruments from the same global financial pie”.

Robinson said arising from the meeting, the eight CARICOM countries represented have agreed in principle to work together to complete a renewable energy assessment within the region so that “we know where we are and what support we can lend to each other as well as areas where we can seek collective support”.

He said members also pledged to “examine the possibilities of harmonising regulations and legislative framework for renewables, which will allow all investors to invest within the region in complement, not competition”.

The statement said the delegates gave an undertaking to carry out work with regulators on renewable energy initiatives.

It said the group also resolved to increase the CARICOM presence in the IRENA given that only Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada are members.

The statement said that the chief of the Caribbean Strategic Monitoring and Support Unit of the Regional Bureau of Latin America and the Caribbean, Ambassador Crispin Gregoire, of Dominica gave his commitment to working with the region through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country offices to ensure adequate support in the push for greater renewable energy use.

One of the objectives of the two-day Malta summit was to encourage small developing states to increase their use of renewable energy sources in the overall mix of energy consumption, the statement said.

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