JIS News

Jamaica, today (March 15) joined the rest of the global community in observing World Consumer Rights Day under the theme: ‘Energy: Sustainable Access for all Consumers’.
The country’s leading consumer advocacy organization, the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), organised a number of activities to mark the occasion, to include a media breakfast at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel with Commerce, Science and Technology Minister, Phillip Paulwell, as guest speaker; a week-long exhibition at the St. Thomas Parish Library; and a special function held at the Montego Bay Community College.
Several hundred students attended the function, which was held immediately following the college’s devotion period and included a message from Minister Paulwell, which was read by CAC Regional Officer, Timothy Watson.
Minister Paulwell, in his message, described the day as one in which all Jamaicans should join with the rest of the world in trumpeting their needs and concerns as consumers.
Addressing the theme of the day, he noted that the volatility in oil prices challenged the sustainable economic development of countries throughout the world.
He pointed out that in the first half of 2005 alone, Jamaica’s oil import bill stood at US$674.9 million and was expected to reach US$1 billion for the entire year.
To counter the problem, he informed, the government has been aggressively pursuing more extensive use of renewable energies, in addition to implementing diversification and conservation measures.
The PetroCaribe agreement, which was signed with Venezuela last year, is also expected to lead to a reduction in the country’s oil bill.
In his remarks at the function, Acting CAC Director for the Western Region, Richard Rowe, urged the students to adopt sustainable consumption patterns by conserving less energy, which in turn, would assist in protecting the environment and secure energy supplies for future generations.