The Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) kicked off live this year, after virtual engagement during pandemic peaks.
Hundreds of energy stakeholders working throughout the region joined the Forum’s wide-ranging discussions and workshops which extended from electric vehicle deployment, women and gender in the renewable energy sector and UNFCCC’s Conference of Parties (COP 26) to stimulating project viability, high impact routes to decarbonization and resilience and several country-focused panels.
CCREEE’s Executive Director, Dr Gary Jackson, participated in the panel focused on High Impact Routes to Decarbonisation and Resilience, among representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank (DB) and the Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD). This panel reflected on how meaningful linkages could be crafted between sectors and, explored opportunities to increase resilience.
The Centre also hosted an invitation-only Stakeholder Engagement on Project Preparation and Development session, which followed the May 2021 CARICOM High-level Meeting on Energy Financing. This breakfast meeting made allowance for engagement on the Centre’s Facility for project preparation assistance and, the opportunities for the CCREEE to support project development within Caribbean countries. Providing opening remarks to those gathered for the breakfast event, Mr Joseph Cox, Assistant Secretary General holding responsibility for Economic Integration, Innovation and Development at the CARICOM Secretariat encouraged attendees to “exploit renewable energy sources, redouble our commitment to driving energy efficiency, maintain our focus on climate change mitigation and the construct of resilient systems in the Region and execute with dispatch.”
During the session, CCREEE’s Head of Technical Programmes, Dr Devon Gardner shared that a number of projects have gained momentum, with a value of 1 billion entering the investment pipeline. The Caribbean Development Bank’s Daniel Bank added urgency to the meeting’s deliberations by reminding those present that we are just eight years away from 2030. He opined, “I don’t know that we have eight years; it is deeply urgent that we start moving.” Through the session’s concluding discussion, those in attendance reaffirmed their commitment to advancing the region’s energy transition.
Gender equality and women’s role within the renewable energy sector also featured significantly on the CCREEE schedule. The Centre’s Project Development and Gender Expert – Charlin Bodley – took part in two side events which both tackled gender challenges within the energy sector. The events facilitated safe spaces for women within the sector to learn and share experiences.
The CCREEE joined regional colleagues from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) under the theme, The Caribbean at CREF, at the annual Forum.