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Remarks by CARICOM Deputy Secretary General Dr Armstrong Alexis to the High Level Closing Ceremony of the Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC) 2017 – 2022

It is a huge pleasure for me to be participating in this closing event for the Technical Assistnce Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC).  The discussions this morning eloquently projected the successes of the intervention, and on behalf of the Caribbean Community Secretariat, I take this opportunity to congratulate GIZ, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the programme team under Simon’s most capable leadership, as well as all the partners both at the regional and national levels for the tremendous success that TAPSEC has been.  I hasten to add that project success can only contibute to regional development, if we are able to adopt the successes of the project and integrate them into the normal offerings of services within our institutions and nations.  I therefore present a provocative proposition that we as actors in the energy sector, must do all within our capacity and resource boundaries to not only secure the success of TAPSEC but to integrate TAPSEC measures into our menu of services to transform the energy sector in the Caribbean. 

The CARICOM Secretariat is honored to have served as a key strategic partner in the implementation of the TAPSEC funded under 11th European Development Fund (EDF). I therefore pause to commend the EU for its commitment as a strategic partner supporting sustainable development in the Caribbean.  Through this initiative which we are celebrating this afternoon, we recognize how partnerships are critical in embarking on the mission of building a viable, sustainable, and prosperous Community for all citizens of our Community.

Our CARICOM Heads of government have placed the matter of renewable energy and energy efficiency as a cornerstone for building resilience. This drive from the top is what accounts for establishment of CCREE and even last week, at the Summit of the Americas, Heads from CARICOM and the Dominican Republic were able to successfully negotiate three main areas of intervention with the government of the United States, with sustainable energy being one of the three.  The CARICOM Secretariat will continue to perform its convening role and equally, we will improve our service provision at the regional level to synergise efforts, leverage project outcomes and roll out robust and sustainable initiatives to expand and fortify tangible results in the field of energy efficiency. 

I know I am preaching to the converted when I say that climate change is a global, cross-cutting challenge that cannot be tackled by one country or one sector alone. In fact, we heard from Ms. Carasco of St. Lucia this morning that Regulators have benefited from collaboration and have grown as a result of the the lessons of others.  We must therefore continue, and the CARICOM Secretariat will continue to place itself at your disposal to maximize benefits, strengthem collaboration and pursue beneficial regional engagements so we all rise together. 

Although TAPSEC his coming to a close, I anticipate that the partnership of the past five years and the successes derived will serve as a stepping stone for further partnerships for results in the energy sector.  CARICOM appreciates the support of our international development partners in the transformation of our societies and economic sectors to become more sustainable and resilient.

I recognize with appreciateion that TAPSEC has assisted Member States to advance their Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. The accelerated deployment of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures is essential to the global objective of keeping global temperature increase to under 1.5 degrees Celcius of pre-industrial levels. The phrase “1.5 to stay alive” is not just a catchy slogan but, for the Caribbean Community, it is a poignant reminder of the social, economic and environmental risks and vulnerabilities that we face which will affect all sectors of our societies.

Recognizing that the Caribbean region has put in place some critical building blocks for policy driven sustainable progress, it is of consequence that TAPSEC has played a role in advancing the Caribbean agenda on sustainable energy.  The CARICOM Energy Policy and the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS), have both progressed and national policies and strategies on energy in CARIFORUM Member States including National Energy Policies have advanced, giving relevance to one of the major outcomes of TAPSEC.  

I therefore complement TAPSEC for supporting the implementation of strategies for Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE).  

I note with interest that TAPSEC has supported the establishment of the CARICOM Policy and Regulations Help Desk and thanks to the intervention, Member States have been able to develop a conducive legislative environment for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.  Innovations with the Regional Electric Vehicle Strategy (REVS), the CARICOM Energy Knowledge Hub (CEKH), the Regional Energy Information System for CARICOM, and Support to the CARICOM Regional Energy Apprenticeship Programme (REAP) are well noted and highly appreciated. 

Finally, I take some time to acknowledge TAPSEC for its support to the preparation of bankable projects, advancements with the Credit Risk Abatement Facility (CRAF) through the CDF and all the other initiatives funded through CCREEE, CDB, CROSQ and the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE).

These clear tangible results help us build a resilient future. They will all fit nicely into a network of interventions to make the Caribbean a region able to respond to the challenges of an uncertain future.  I thank all gathered for your partnership and I look forward to further strengthening these partnerships to secure sound development results for our region.


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