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The U.S. stands ready to partner with The Bahamas to advance Renewable Energy, says Ambassador Nicole A. Avant

In support of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), the U.S. Departments of State and Energy (DOE) participated in the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF), held in Nassau, The Bahamas on October 14-15, 2010 at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island.  Policy-makers from across the Caribbean as well as private industry, international organizations, multilateral development banks, and NGOs working to advance renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region gathered together for the two day conference.  The U.S. Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Nicole Avant, led the U.S. delegation and delivered a keynote address on October 15. 

In her remarks, Ambassador Avant applauded the ongoing efforts made by the government and the private sector in The Bahamas because leaders recognize that addressing climate change is an economic opportunity and see a clear link between clean, sustainable energy and robust economic growth.  “The partnerships I see here between the public sector and private industry are what will make The Bahamas a model in efficient, sustainable energy practices for the region – and eventually for the world,” said Ambassador Avant.

To respond to the threat that global climate change poses to development, U.S. President Barak Obama has launched a Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI) to spur global greenhouse gas emission reductions in the energy and forests and land?use sectors, and to promote climate change adaptation in vulnerable countries and communities. As part of this effort, the United States has committed to contributing to a sum approaching $30 billion from multiple donors over the 2010?2012 period, as called for in the Copenhagen Accord, for “fast?start” funding to assist countries in addressing climate change. 

The U.S. share of the $30 million total will be delivered through existing mechanisms, including bilateral assistance programs through U.S. Embassies, USAID programs, U.S. agencies such as MCC, multilateral contributions to climate change funds, and international organizations such as the UNFCCC.  The United States will also make additional contributions to the IDB, OAS, or World Bank to finance clean energy and climate change projects.

In her keynote address on October 15, Ambassador Avant explained that one component of President Obama’s Global Climate Change Initiative is the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, also known as ECPA; a voluntary technical assistance opportunity – open to all governments in the Western Hemisphere – with a focus on seven pillars:  renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy poverty, cleaner fossil fuels, infrastructure, adaptation, and sustainable land use and forests.

“The United States also has a long term commitment to working with Caribbean governments on energy, which is why President Obama invited all countries to join him in an Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas at the last Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain.” said Ambassador Avant.  “We do not believe there is a one size fits all approach or one single solution for Caribbean energy and climate challenges, which is why ECPA’s flexibility can allow us to partner on any number of things of interest to governments here today.” 

Since President Obama first announced ECPA, over a dozen new initiatives have begun in the Western Hemisphere including Brazilian-led efforts on urban development and planning, Mexico’s initiatives on energy efficiency and access, Colombia’s activities to promote electrical interconnection in the Andes, Chile and Panama, and Canada’s heavy oil working group.

Ambassador Avant concluded her address by emphasizing that the United States is a friend and partner to the Caribbean and that there is great work underway. “The United States looks forward to next year’s CREF where I am confident that we will be able to point to new renewable energy projects and tangible results that will advance Caribbean energy security and prosperity,” said Ambassador Avant.


Category/ies:Bahamas News.
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