The Organization of American States and the U.S. Department of Energy signed a memorandum of understanding to foster information exchange and collaboration with a view to educating future generations about the principles of sustainable energy and energy efficiency.
The agreement was signed by OAS Assistant Secretary General Nestor Mendez and LaDoris Harris, Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the Department of Energy and leader of the Minorities in Energy Initiative.
“Energy is a priority of President Obama’s agenda, especially on the matter of addressing the needs of minorities and underrepresented communities in the energy sector,” Harris said at the signing ceremony. “We look forward to a growing collaboration with the OAS in this endeavor.”
The OAS Assistant General, for his part, noted that several governments in the region have made it a priority to educate future generations about issues related to sustainable energy. He pointed to initiatives already underway at the OAS, including the Caribbean Energy Education and Awareness Programme established by the Department of Sustainable Development, which aims to ensure that students in primary and secondary schools learn about energy and energy-saving practices.
“Climate and energy are topics that afford many opportunities for school science teachers to engage students in inquiry around current challenges facing their communities and society,” Mendez said. “Educators have the ability to teach their students about climate change, engage them in critical-thinking vis-à-vis the effects of their behavior on energy consumption, and provide them with the necessary skills to estimate greenhouse gas emissions at home and in their daily routines,” he added.