THE Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has agreed to increase focus and investment in energy security by utilizing and harnessing hydrocarbon resources in the Region, as a means of reducing dependency on external resources.
This is according to the list of outcomes from the three-day 43rd Regular Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in Paramaribo, Suriname ,which concluded on Tuesday.
Regional leaders agreed to develop the renewable energy sector through building infrastructure to meet regional power generation needs.
Similar to CARICOM’s food-security initiatives, the Region’s leaders have recognized the need to focus on intra-regional energy supply, which could withstand external shocks.
“The Heads of Government considered and approved a paper on Economic Development and Energy Transition and Climate Change as its overarching strategy in advancing energy security.
“Heads of Government agreed to pursue energy diversification and security through making use of significant assets in the Region with immediate existing capacity in LNG [Liquid Natural Gas] and fertiliser for agriculture,” a communiqué issued at the conclusion of the meeting noted.
Energy needs have become a global concern over the past few months as the war in Ukraine continues with the major players in the global system placing restrictions on Russia-produced oil. Russia is a major supplier to the global market.
The end result is soaring oil prices, which quickly contributed to a rise in costs of many commodities worldwide.
The Ukraine war worsened conditions already created by the COVID-19 pandemic and further devastated the global supply chain. Some countries with renewable energy potential, such as Germany, have signalled fastened transitions from fossil fuel.
During the recent CARICOM meeting, the Heads of Government also agreed that the United States of America should remove sanctions on Venezuela, thus allowing Caribbean countries to benefit from oil through PetroCaribe, the outcome document said.
The advocacy also includes allowing for exploitation of cross-border natural gas fields between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.
Just recently, President, Dr Irfaan Ali noted that several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states have come together to advance work on a regional energy strategy that will guide Caribbean nations in areas for investment. (Tamica Garnett)