A joint statement on the just concluded Caribbean Energy Security Summit was released today by the US White House.
The Governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Colombia, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States, together with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, Caribbean Development Bank, European Union, Inter-American Development Bank Group, International Renewable Energy Agency, Organization of American States, and the World Bank Group:
1. Recognizing that energy security, access to energy, economic development, environmental and climate goals benefit from and contribute to sustainable, modern, clean and diversified energy sectors;
2. Reaffirming our commitment to support access to sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy services, with a particular focus on cleaner alternative energy resources , for all citizens in the region;
3. Recognizing that increased energy efficiency and more diversified, and clean energy sources can lead to improved energy security, increasing self-sufficiency, economic growth, and climate resilience as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
4. Recognizing that cost-effective, alternative, and renewable energy sources, can reduce energy costs, while at the same time providing increased options for countries to diversify their energy matrices;
5. Recalling the commitment at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009 to expand cooperation on energy and climate change, including through the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA); and at the Sixth Summit of the Americas in 2012 to accelerate energy integration to provide every person access to the electricity they need through the Connecting the Americas 2022 (Connect 2022) initiative;
6.Recall ing the outcome of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS Conference), September 2014, and the commitments taken under the SIDS Accelerated Modalities Of Action Pathway;
7. Recognizing that, although legal and regulatory reforms have been implemented in some countries to introduce renewable energy technologies and sustainable energy management approaches to attract the required investment in the Caribbean energy sector, in principle, more work on policy and regulatory issues is required to fully embrace the opportunities derived from sustainable energy;
8. Recalling national and regional energy plans, including the CARICOM Energy Policy and Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS), adopted by CARICOM in March of 2013, and the commenced negotiations in the Dominican Republic for a National Pact on Energy;
9. Recognizing that lowering energy costs can increase competitiveness in tourism, manufacturing and various other sectors of the Regional economies;
10. Recognizing that the private sector has an important role to play in developing the energy sector in the region, and that there is potential for greater public-private partnerships;
11. Recognizing the synergies and benefits of regional cooperation for the strengthening of the energy sector;
12. Noting that this strategy is in line with the objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative;
13. Recognizing the advances already made by several countries in diversifying their energy mix;
14. Recognizing our actions should support reaching a new international climate change agreement at the December 2015 UNFCCC negotiations in Paris;
15. Recalling the invitation at the UNFCCC Twentieth Conference of Parties to communicate intended nationally determined contributions well in advance of Paris in a manner that facilitates clarity, transparency and understanding; and
16. Recognizing the Caribbean is a particularly vulnerable region to climate change and has been an advocate in the fight against climate change.
We state our commitment to support the Caribbean’s transformation of the energy systems of Caribbean states, to share lessons learned through new and expanded regional information networks, to report progress in relevant fora, and to pursue the following in accordance with national laws:
1. Comprehensive, planning-based and research-driven approaches to energy transition, including implementation of pilot and demonstration projects, based on successful models so that individual clean energy projects are part of a fully integrated, climate-resilient energy transition plan toward clean sustainable energy for all.
2. For Caribbean countries, necessary and specific reforms , including recommendations from the 2013 CARICOM Energy Policy and the outcome of the 2015 Dominican Energy Pact, to support policy and regulatory environments that facilitate the introduction of new technologies favoring sustainable and clean energy that provide legal certainty for investors and improved predictability in price and supply for users.
3. Where viable, alignment of national legal and regulatory approaches to facilitate greater clean energy investment throughout the region, provided that countries can access finance and other resources on affordable terms, to set the stage for future electrical interconnection in keeping with the goals of Connect 2022.
4. Where technically and commercially feasible, promote and develop affordable: (i) no- or lower carbon electricity generation through wind, solar, geothermal power, hydropower, bioenergy, ocean energy, energy recovery from waste, and other clean energies; and (ii) energy efficiency measures. Recognizing also, that alternative fuels, such as natural gas, can play a useful bridging role.
5. Open, transparent, competitive and criteria-based processes, including liberalization where cost effective, to procure energy investment and facilitate access to finance for cleaner and climate resilient energy projects and infrastructure.
6. Data and energy information exchange and coordination with, between, and among countries and stakeholders to minimize duplication and enable the monitoring and evaluation of energy projects to maximize the impacts of efforts toward fully integrated, low carbon and climate-resilient energy transition plans.