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CARICOM faces increasing oil prices

CARICOM energy ministers called for urgent action at the national and regional levels to address the escalating challenges associated with increasing oil prices.

The ministers recently met for a one-day special meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development in Georgetown, Guyana.

They acknowledged that the energy situation remained dire for the net oil importing members of the Community given the recent surge in oil prices intensified by the ongoing political unrest in the Northern African and Middle Eastern Region.

They noted that the prevailing high prices had the potential to create a crisis for net energy importing members and brought into sharp focus the need for energy to remain a priority for the region.

The ministers agreed that member states needed to place priority on energy efficiency and conservation, as well as to speed up the transition of renewable energy.

The ministers mandated the finalization of the CARICOM Energy Policy be expedited. A draft of the policy was submitted to CARICOM heads of government in 2007.

The meeting established the procedure for finalization of the policy and recommended the revision for submission to the 32nd Meeting of the Conference of Heads scheduled for July 2011.

The policy will also address the issue of energy systems integration within CARICOM.

The meeting mandated the CARICOM Secretariat to continue to mobilize support from development partners for sustainable energy developments identified by members states.

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