Energy Important To Development States PM


Prime Minister P.J. Patterson said it was fitting that the recently concluded Summit of the G of 15 developing countries in Caracas, Venezuela focussed on the importance of energy to a country’s development as there was no doubt that energy is the engine of economic growth, given its cost and availability to developing countries and the impact it has had on their development. He said the alliance between the newly formed African Energy Commission (AFREC) and Latin American and the Caribbean through the Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE) augurs well for both regions as it lays the foundation for new forms of energy cooperation between Africa and Latin America.
Mr. Patterson was speaking at the G-15 Summit in Caracas, Venezuela on Friday (Feb. 27), which was held under the theme ‘Energy in Unity.’ There are currently nineteen member countries in the G-15.
The Prime Minister said that in light of the energy crisis looming within oil-deficient developing countries, these countries would require partnerships in creating energy enterprises and projects that will foster the use of renewable sources of energy and promote sustainable development. He said the global strategy used should adopt a comprehensive approach and not be built only a project-by-project basis but rather, on mutual cooperation and transfer of experience and knowledge.
He said that despite attempts to give energy efficiency and renewable energy greater prominence in Jamaica’s energy policy more remains to be achieved, including the sensitisation of consumers to the concept and the environmental and socio-economic benefits of clean renewable sources of energy. He added that increasing the usage of renewables would also depend on the interest of the private sector in developing projects and of domestic institutions in providing financing.
“It has long been recognised that energy efficiency and renewable energy offer great potential for reducing the negative effects of the ever-increasing rates of energy consumption associated with economic growth and the move towards more energy-intensive societal models,” Mr. Patterson said.
He noted the special terms and conditions under which Jamaica imports crude oil from Mexico under the San Jose Accord and Venezuela under the Caracas Agreement, adding that Agreements such as these serve as fitting examples of South-South Cooperation in action.

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