PM among regional heads in Washington for energy summit
Nadine Wilson, Staff Reporter
Prime Minister Andrew Holness is among several regional heads of government currently in Washington DC for a two-day US Caribbean Central American Energy Summit being hosted by US Vice-President Joseph Biden at the State Department.
This morning, Holness attended the launch of a report produced by the Task Force for Caribbean and Central America Energy Security which was officially announced by United States President Barack Obama when he visited Jamaica last April.
PHOTO: Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) joins US Vice-President Joe Biden (center) and others, attending a meeting of the Caribbean Heads of Delegation during the US Caribbean-Central American Energy Summit at the State Department in Washington today.
The report, produced by the task force, highlights the challenges and opportunities facing the energy sector in the region as it seeks to explore avenues to achieve more secure, affordable and clean energy.
"The majority of countries within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) rely primarily on seaborne petroleum imports which are becoming more expensive and insecure in pricing and supply," the task force noted.
Countries like Jamaica are being urged to explore other cost-effective alternatives to petroleum such as renewable energy sources. Currently, only about six per cent of the national grid is being supplied by renewables. The aim is to reach 20 per cent by 2030.
"The volume of GDP and foreign exchange resources being spent by Caribbean countries to pay for energy imports over the last decade when oil prices were mostly high could have otherwise been directed to alleviating poverty, adapting to climate change and sea level rise, and other critical interventions that are necessary for sustainable development and resilience building," the task force said in its report.