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CARICOM Launches Energy Month on Friday in Montserrat

FLASHBACK: The nominees of the first CARICOM Energy Personality Award. Second from left is winner, Ms. Hannah Olmberg-Soesman. The award, in the foreground, was presented to Ms. Olmberg-Soesman earlier this year. FLASHBACK: The nominees of the first CARICOM Energy Personality Award. Second from left is winner, Ms. Hannah Olmberg-Soesman. The award, in the foreground, was presented to Ms. Olmberg-Soesman earlier this year.
CARICOM, Georgetown, Guyana, October 30, 2018 -  CARICOM Energy Month (CEM), will be launched 2 November, in Brades, Montserrat, with a focus on empowering youths for a sustainable energy future. The launch includes a symposium featuring a panel discussion on geothermal energy, energy conservation measures and electric vehicles.

The Month is observed in November each year. It serves to increase awareness of energy matters in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and celebrate the strides the Community has made to transition to a clean energy pathway. The Month of activities evolved from CARICOM Energy Week (CEW) which was established in 2011. Since its inauguration in 2016, CEM has become the seminal event on the calendar of energy stakeholders including academia, policy-makers, the private sector, youth, and development partners.

The ultimate goal is to achieve long-term, lasting behavioural changes. A wide cross-section of society and stakeholders will be engaged to ensure that individuals and organisations understand the impacts of, and take action to respond to critical energy issues.

The Regional theme is ‘Clean Energy, Good Governance & Regulations: Generating Growth and Resilience’. A major focus of CEM 2018, is building awareness on the climate and disaster resilience within the energy sector. Against the backdrop of the hurricanes that hit the Caribbean last year, causing extensive damage to electric grids and disrupting networks and other critical infrastructure, the objectives of the observances are:

  1. Increasing the understanding of energy issues of the Region and the many solutions to achieve a transformation in the sustainable energy sector.
  1. Educating the public and other identified target groups on the risks to the energy sector from climate-change and natural disasters.
  2. Improving understanding of disaster risk management best practices in the power sector
  3. Building awareness on disaster preparedness related to energy with focus on low cost, resilience strategies
  4. Establishing networks amongst institutions of various sectors to foster and improve regional collaboration and coordination on energy and climate resilience issues

This year, the activities include art and essay competitions for youths, the hunt for the second CARICOM Energy Personality and a Regional Energy Kilo Walk. The Sixth edition of the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum(CSEF) will also be held during the Month in Belize.
In addition to the regional programme, national activities will be held in Member States.

Please see details of the regional CEM activities:

Energy Personality Award

The CARICOM Energy Personality Award, now established as a flagship award of the CARICOM Energy Programme, was launched via a call for nominations in November for CEM 2017.   It aims to celebrate the achievements and show appreciation to individuals who have made a meaningful impact and contribution to achieving the goal of a sustainable energy future in CARICOM. This year, the award will honour individuals through various categories including: Lifetime Achievement, Projects, Youth and Community.

Regional Youth Essay Competition

The CARICOM Secretariat, in collaboration with Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), will launch the Regional Youth Essay Competition for CEM 2018. The competition begins on 2 November and concludes on 30 November. Judging will be done in January, 2019.

Young Energy Artist Competition

The Young Energy Artist Competition seeks to encourage children, parents and teachers to work together to create knowledge around the value of energy and the importance of using energy responsibly through art. The competition will be held for the period 1-30 November 2018 with judging taking place in January 2019. Three works of art will be selected as the winning entries by a panel of judges. The pieces will be featured on the CARICOM Energy and CARICOM Secretariat websites and social media platforms.

Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum

The Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum is a CARICOM biennial event where key national, regional and international stakeholders, from the public and private sectors, take stock of the present state and realign their outlook of the pursuit of a sustainable energy pathway within the Region.

The CSEF VI will be held in Placencia, Belize, on 19-21 November, 2018, under the theme: ‘Clean Energy, Good Governance and Regulation’.

The Forum is organised by the CARICOM Secretariat and the Government of Belize, with CARILEC, OOCUR, BEL and the PUC as strategic partners. It will feature a mix of keynote lectures, as well plenary, concurrent and special sessions, including a High-level Ministerial Panel, 19-20 November.

Additionally, two concurrent technical workshops will be held on 21 November:

Workshop 1:  Innovation in rate making - Incentivising investment and ensuring affordability, and

Workshop 2: Structuring PPAs - Balancing Competition and Investments within the Small Electricity Markets.

In particular, CSEF-VI will focus on the development of a deeper understanding on the "right" support frameworks and partnerships that are necessary to unlock the finances to deliver affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for citizens and businesses within CARICOM. More than 100 participants, including Energy Ministers; senior officials from national, regional and international institutions; business leaders; and industry experts are expected at the Forum.

The Forum was previously held in St. Georges, Grenada (July 2008); Montego Bay, Jamaica (June 2010); Frigate Bay, St. Kitts (September 2012); and St. Michaels, Barbados (November 2014); and Nassau, The Bahamas ([January 2017).

Regional Energy Kilo-walk

The CARICOM Secretariat, in collaboration with the Guyana Energy Agency and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, will hold the third edition of the Regional Energy Kilo-walk in Guyana 1 December. The slogan for the walk is ‘Stepping into a RE-silient Region’.The Kilo-Walk has traditionally targeted a wide cross-section of participants including students, the private sector, civil society, Government officials, and CARICOM Secretariat Staff.

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