Speaking at the opening of the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), Almagro cited several examples of countries that are accelerating development of renewable resources, including Colombia and Brazil. Costa Rica, for its part, has generated more than 98% of its electric power from renewable sources for the last five years.
“Jamaica is making a name for itself on the energy front,” Almagro added, noting that the country is diversifying its energy mix with significant investment in clean energy.
In addition, Almagro said, electric bus fleets are becoming more common in major Latin American cities, while several Caribbean countries have been working to harden their infrastructure against hurricanes. Panama, meanwhile, opened the first liquefied natural gas plant in Central America to provide the region with a cleaner option for electricity generation, displacing bunker oil and diesel.
“Investing in resilient energy infrastructure brings the Americas one step closer to energy independence, prosperity, and expanding the rights for all our people,” the Secretary General said.
Energy ministers and other high-level officials from 29 countries are attending the two-day meeting, which will focus on “Energy Resilience and Investment Opportunities.” This is the fourth such hemisphere-wide meeting held under the auspices of ECPA, which was founded more than a decade ago as a platform for cooperation on issues related to energy and resilience.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness gave the keynote address at the opening of the meeting, urging the countries gathered here to develop robust policies and measures so that they will be more agile and better prepared to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate events and other unexpected developments.
“Meeting the resilience challenge requires a mindset that expects and even embraces disruption,” he said.
In her remarks, Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams, stressed that the world is in a “race against time” to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, including the target of achieving clean, safe, reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy.
For small, developing states such as Jamaica, it is important to have resilience at the forefront of the agenda, she said. “The fragility of our economies and our still-developing energy infrastructure require sustained and strategic investments as we pursue the Sustainable Development Goals and better quality of life for our citizens,” Williams said.