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More work necessary to reach energy objectives

THERE is room for improvement in many areas in order for the Caribbean and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to achieve sustainable energy objectives.

This is according to Minister of Finance of Grenada, Nazim Burke. He delivered an address here in Barbados at the SIDS Sustainable Energy For All conference at the Hilton Barbados last week.

“The topic that we are discussing this morning, ‘The Creation of an Enabling Environment and the Financing for Sustainable Energy’ brings to the fore fundamental pre-requisites which have to be satisfied if we are to succeed in achieving global objectives put forward by the UN Secretary General in his Sustainable Energy For All initiative,” he said.

Burke went on to highlight three key issues that specifically affect the Small Island Developing States, especially those in the Caribbean region. The issues surround those of high energy costs, high levels of indebtedness, and the slow pace of development funding.

“First, high energy costs is a constraint to the development of Small Island Developing States. In the case of the OECS countries, we have one of the highest energy costs in the world.

“Secondly, high levels of indebtedness means that there is very little fiscal space for investment by our governments. Fourteen of the top thirty most indebted emerging economies in the world are, in fact, in the Caribbean region.

“Thirdly, funds from development partners need to flow much faster if the SIDS are to meet ambitious targets… Let’s just say that more efficient financing is essential,” Burke stressed.

He used his own country, Grenada, as an example of the importance of developing sustainable energy, noting that that country has some of the highest energy costs in the world. As a response, Burke reported that his government has chosen pillars for economic transformation of Grenada, and among them is sustainable energy development.

“We recognise that if we do not solve the problem of energy development we will not be able to solve the development problem,” Burke said. (AN)



Category/ies:Regional News.
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