Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds. (FP)

This country’s Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, is calling on the region to try even harder to see those renewable energy projects that would lead to growth within the region come to fruition.

He expressed this view recently as he delivered the feature address on behalf of Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley during the opening ceremony of the 7th Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum at Hilton and streamed live via various social media platforms.

Acknowledging that it was the region’s responsibility to “save ourselves” instead of relying on the developed world to effect this, Mr. Symmonds articulated the view that this can be achieved through efforts at mitigation and adaptation and the skills set “we must quickly acquire if our future development in energy, transport and general economic productivity is to continue to be prosperous”.

He added that CARICOM had been advocating for its member states to negotiate various developmental renewable programmes, but it was up to each country to see beyond its own borders.

“We must urge each member state to explore and exploit the available renewable energy options unique to each of our countries [though] it has been difficult in recent times to align the needs of the many to achieve the objectives of the CARICOM policy with respect to the leveraging of finances.”

Mr. Symmonds continued: “As host country to a number of regional organisations including CCREEE (Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency). We have proven time and again, by words and actions, our commitment to the desirability towards regional cooperation generally. But especially so when we confront the fact that the needs confronting us collectively are greater than the resources of the individual members.”

The Energy Minister appealed to the region to collaborate to protect the transformation to a green economy from being derailed by unprecedented volatility in shipping, disruption to the supply chain and logistics, challenges acquiring natural gas in sufficient quantities and the limited support available for the exploitation of offshore resources.

During the proceedings, Managing Director of Solar Dynamics, James Husbands received the CARICOM Energy Month 2021 Award for his exemplary entrepreneurial vision and innovative approach towards sustainable energy development.

The conference, under the theme From Dependence to Resilience, was held from November 22 to 25.

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