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The Caribbean Must Develop a Green Economy

Joseph-Williams-CDB-energy-policy

Energy Policy Consultant at the Caribbean Development Bank, Joseph Williams.

Energy Policy Consultant at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Joseph Williams, believes the Caribbean must move faster towards greater renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Delivering the feature address at Green Energy Day at the Energy Conference in Port of Spain, Williams said Caribbean countries are not poor in regard to energy.  He said in addition to making good economic sense, a green economy paradigm will provide opportunities to reduce carbon emissions.

He called on Trinidad and Tobago to lead the Caribbean into a new age of green energy, changing the way PetroCaribe currently operates.  Williams stated that the CDB has opened up many areas of access to assist companies willing to go green.

He stated, “Investing in renewable energy is key. Subsidies have grown over the last few years. CDB is willing to help fund energy efficient projects through things like concessional loans.”

 The Policy Consultant outlined a number of areas that still needed to be addressed including the need for policies, a raft of incentives and the lack of capacity in critical areas. He urged all nations to get involved stating, “Renewable energy is not the business of one country, it is the business of all countries.”

Meanwhile, Business Development Manager at Massy Energy, Dr. Dirk Nuber, said the Caribbean must harness more from the sun in the form of solar energy. He went on to say: “Most countries in the Caribbean still depend on fossil fuels. While many countries are good for solar, they are not using it.” He further added that there is great investment in renewable energy and the Caribbean must start adapting to it.

Credit: Caribbean Energy Information System

Caribbean focuses on youth unemployment

Prime Minister of the Bahamas Perry Gladstone.

Prime Minister of the Bahamas Perry Gladstone.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday that the 9th Meeting of Caribbean Labor Ministers has concluded with a commitment to strengthen social dialogue further both at the national and regional levels.

The ILO also said the meeting in Port-of-Spain, the Trinidad and Tobago capital, ended with renewed impetus to focus on creative solutions to the problem of youth unemployment and the greening of the economy.

The meeting, themed “Decent Work for Sustainable Development,” was attended by 21 delegations headed by 14 ministers with responsibility for labor issues.

The presidents and other representatives of the Caribbean Congress of Labor (CCL) and Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) were also present, along with representatives from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), and U.N. Agencies (ECLAC, UNESCO,PAHO/WHO and U.N. RC Office Jamaica), as well as the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).

ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, attended the meeting and held bilateral meetings with chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Prime Minister of Bahamas Perry Christie; and the Governor-General of the Bahamas, Dame Marguerite Pindling.

The ILO said Caribbean Labour Ministers at the Meeting called for the systemic institutionalization of national social dialogue processes and culture, which embrace policy areas.

They agreed to support the capacity of social partners to ensure that their interventions to tripartite forums and consultations will add substantive value to the processes, the ILO said.

Given the impact of climate change on the world of work, the ministers called for long-term policy development, so that countries are sufficiently resilient to meet the related challenges.

It was agreed that new business opportunities, as well as education and skills-training policies, would be implemented in response to the anticipated impact of climate on the workers, the ILO said.

The ministers called for closer collaboration between the ILO and CARICOM, particularly on youth employment, technical, vocational education and training (TVET), labor market information systems and environmental sustainability.

The ministers said that those countries not-yet signatory to the regional “Free of Child Labor” initiative, should be provided with information to consider becoming a party to it, according to the ILO.

It said that it officially informed the Ministers of Labor about a new regional project with CEC and CCL, with funding from the European Union (EU), aimed at strengthening the capacity of workers’ and employers’ organizations in the framework of the Economic Partnership Agreement.

Delegates examined the state of youth unemployment in the Caribbean region, together with public and private partners and institutions such as the government of the Republic of China, Canada, Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, and the ACS.

In this session, it was proposed that anticipating skills requirements could contribute to reduce skills mismatches, the ILO said.

It was also suggested that colleges and training institutions work closely with social partners in developing work-based learning opportunities, beyond apprenticeships and internship programs and closer to labor market demand.

The ILO said session highlighted the need for strong corporate social responsibilities to link youth to the world of work.

Regional certification to ensure consistency of qualifications and opportunities for free movement of youth, by developing fair and sound immigration policies, were also discussed.

Ryder emphasized the importance of reducing carbon emissions for sustainable economic growth, generating new jobs and skills.

With sessions led by representatives from CCCCC in Belize, and the ILO Green Jobs Program in Geneva, climate change and its impact on the work place was discussed.

With higher temperatures, rises in sea level, and increased hurricane intensity threatening lives, property and livelihoods throughout the region, the need for increased technical and financial support for the development of renewable energy in the Caribbean was raised, the ILO said.

Ryder said that the Caribbean has strong traditions of tripartite social dialogue, and mentioned the good practices and innovative solutions which the Caribbean countries are able to implement and share.

Credit: Caribbean Life News

FAO Hosts GHG Emissions Statistics Workshop in Trinidad

Roundtable 1The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre participated in the recently concluded  (June 3-4, 2013) Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) Statistics Workshop in Port of Spain. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) event was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Resources for Latin American countries. This was the second of a series of regional workshops being undertaken by the FAO to raise awareness of the importance of agricultural statistics for the preparation of GHG inventories and the development of national mitigation strategies to improve agricultural productivity, food security and environmental sustainability.

Representatives of the FAO delivered presentations on agriculture and climate change, emissions from the agriculture sector and the data required for estimating these emissions. They also presented the FAO project, Monitoring and Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Mitigation Potential in Agriculture (MAGHG). The activities of the project include the development of an online agriculture, forestry and land use emissions database (FAOSTAT). The database contains the emissions from all FAO Members in these sectors from 1990 to 2010 using the IPCC 2006 methodology. Further developments in FAOSTAT will include emission projections to 2050.  Representatives of the IPCC Task Force on Inventories (TFI) presented on the use of the IPCC 2006 GHG Inventories software. Representatives of Brazil, and Ecuador presented on their national experiences in developing national  GHG inventory processes.

The workshop included interactive roundtables on climate change, mitigation and adaptation, the requirements of countries to develop inventories in the agriculture sector, and the resolution of problems to improve national GHG Inventory systems especially in light of the UNFCCC decision on biennial update reports (BUR). In Doha, COP 18 decided that countries should provide biennial update reports of their GHG inventories to supplement the inventories in their National Communications.

The representatives of the FAO and the IPCC agreed that a similar workshop could be delivered to the Members of CARICOM upon their request. The Centre will undertake consultations with the climate change authorities in these countries..

Australian Envoy Touts Collaboration with the 5Cs

Credit: CARICOM Secretariat.Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (R), CARICOM Secretary-General, accepts the Letters of Credence of His Excellency Ross William Tysoe (L), the Plenipotentiary Representative of Australia to CARICOM. Thursday 4 April, 2013, CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters, Georgetown, Guyana.

Credit: CARICOM Secretariat.
Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (R), CARICOM Secretary-General, accepts the Letters of Credence of His Excellency Ross William Tysoe (L), the Plenipotentiary Representative of Australia to CARICOM. Thursday 4 April, 2013, CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters, Georgetown, Guyana.

The Australian High Commissioner to CARICOM Ross Tysoe AO says “impressive work” is being carried out by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), which he experienced first-hand during a recent visit.

The envoy cited the Centre’s effective management of Australia’s technical and cooperation assistance in supporting Belize’s Barrier Reef Marine System, adding that Australia is pleased to have contributed to this project which included a coral reef early warning station. The Ambassador said the project is a “fantastic example” of CARICOM-Australia cooperation. Speaking on Thursday, April 04, 2013 following the formal acceptance of his letter of credence by CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, the envoy said he is convinced Australia’s aid programmes are “in safe hands”.

Executive Director of the CARICOM Climate Change Centre Dr. Kenric Leslie and High Commissioner Ross Tysoe, AO

Executive Director of the CARICOM Climate Change Centre Dr. Kenric Leslie CBE and High Commissioner Ross Tysoe, AO

Cooperation between CARICOM and Australia was formalised in November 2009 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, between the leaders of CARICOM and Australia. At that meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed, paving the way for Australia to make some $60 million (AUS) available over four years to CARICOM for cooperation in areas of special mutual interest.

The areas of cooperation include climate change, disaster risk reduction and emergency management; regional integration, including trade facilitation; education, including in the fields of science and technology, provision of scholarships and training of diplomats; university co-operation; food security and agricultural co-operation; renewable energy, microfinance; border security and sport, youth and culture.

Read 5Cs Welcomes Australia’s High Commissioner to CARICOM to learn more about Ambassador Tysoe’s recent visit to Centre.

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