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Aruba Green Energy Conference 2011 Closes with Address from HRH Prince of Orange

Prime Minister Mike Eman was proud to introduce HRH Prince of Orange as the final speaker for the closing of the Aruba Green Energy Confe­rence 2011 on Saturday afternoon, October 29, who shared his thoughts on global warming, climate change, and Aruba’s strides to lead the region in coping with these major issues. The conference was conducted at the Renaissance Convention Center from Thursday through Saturday, October 27-29, welcoming a host of expert speakers from around the globe in the field of Renewable Energy.

Since 1997, The Prince has been closely involved with Water Management which is a Dutch area of expertise, collaborating with other nations in UN actions and committees regarding this. He chairs the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation and has been actively involved in the Spatial Planning Program of The Netherlands since 2004.

“It is wonderful to see how a small country can sometimes be great,” His Royal Highness began, “to realize that no dream is unattainable, if you really believe in it…it is only recently that the Aruban government decided to go all out to become a leading regional player in free, sustainable energy.”

He mentioned the ambitious energy policy put forward at the first Green Energy Conference one year ago by PM Eman and Minister of Finance, Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, Mike de Meza, and, most importantly, it was well attended by official and important business people from all over the Caribbean. They “were inspired by your enthusiasm, vision and leadership. In short, Aruba made a fine start in the policy area, for there are few issues that combine so many topical developments as the question of how we will obtain our energy in say…2050.”

His Royal Highness reflected on the volatile nature and future of fossil fuels, not only in regard to reserves and market fluctuations by speculators, but also the necessity of reversing climate change from their carbon emissions. “Smart heads consider it best to diversify sources and suppliers, and producing your own energy for your entity can also be a good investment in civility.”

He then recounted the many symptoms which support what climate scientists are warning; storms of unprecedented severity, melting glaciers and polar ice caps, floods as well as droughts, rising sea levels and the subsequent threat to bio-diversity. “Climate change is a fact. The exact extent to which we humans are responsible does not change our duty to minimize its impact. There is a great deal of debate about the causes …and feasibility of various measures – and that is a good thing. The effects of climate change confront us with economic and social necessity that is inescapable. ”

The Prince expressed his concerns regarding water, food and energy, and the long-term ramifications of the continuing loss of these resources. He discussed the various important uses of water, not only its necessity for human survival but as a source of energy. He mentioned that the world receives enough sunlight every hour to power their needs for an entire year; technology is moving so fast solar energy is becoming cheaper and cheaper and so more important to the energy needs of all nations. “Instead of seeing deserts which are abundantly available all over our planet as arid wastelands, we should cherish them as future harvesters of sustainable energy.” Wind, too, will become a principal source of sustainable energy. “Picture a future in which wind farms in the North Sea with a capacity of around 10,000 MGW supply electricity to Britain, Denmark, Norway, Germany and The Netherlands by 2050.”

Following HRH’s Keynote Address, the Aruba Green Energy Conference 2011 – “The Green Gateway”- came to a close with the historic signing of the agreement between the Aruban Government and TNO (Netherlands Organization Applied Scientific Research), for the establishment of the Caribbean Sustainable Research Institute (CSRI) with TNO CEO Jan Mengelers. A detailed list of speakers and their presentations will be posted to the conference’s website:

Rosalie Klein, Reporter
Story courtesy of The Morning News

Category/ies:Regional News, Regional Speeches.
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