Mr. Devon Rowe
Ministry of Local Government & Environment of Jamaica
at the High Level Segment of the
14th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
United Nations, New York
12 May 2006
The positive and intricate linkages between access to energy, eliminating poverty and improving human health and the environment and quality of life have been recognised at the international level through the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation among others. For Jamaica, which has one of the highest energy intensity rates in Latin America and the Caribbean, this recognition has also been made through the development and promulgation of the Jamaica Energy Sector Policy and the elaboration and implementation of a rural electrification programme as one aspect of the National Poverty Eradication Programme. The issues addressed at this session of the Commission are therefore particularly important for Jamaica.
Over the past several days, fruitful discussions have taken place. It has been widely recognized that access to energy resources, is fundamental to achieving economic growth and sustainable development. We are however cognizant of the possible adverse environmental effects of the expansion of energy intensive industrial bases, particularly the emission of green house gases which contribute to global warming and climate change.
We have taken careful note of the many successful case studies from different regions of the world that have been identified, the lessons learned that have been shared and the challenges that were articulated. As we share ideas however on barriers and constraints and the strategies to move forward, my delegation would like to offer the following ideas for action, specifically on renewable energy and means of implementation.
There needs to be more institutional focus for exploration of renewable energy options for developing countries, with more institutions engaged in research and development. This does not only mean research into new or more technologies but an assessment of current real potential. This would serve to advance and accelerate the transfer of appropriate renewable energy technologies to developing countries through the most cost effective method and to stimulate the competitiveness of renewable energy supplies in the market place.
One mechanism to move forward is through South-South cooperation. While not a substitute for North-South cooperation, South-South cooperation can assist in the successful commercialization and advancement of appropriate technologies and further development of local renewable energy markets. We also strongly encourage the active involvement of the private sector in such initiatives.
Mr. Chairman, throughout the discussions, several SIDS have noted our vulnerability to climate change and the importance of adaptation measures for SIDS as well as mitigation measures by developed countries. The importance of the use of renewable energy in reducing global GHG emissions cannot be overemphasized.
Through the CDM, renewable energy technology can be transferred to developing countries with their limited financial resources. The CDM is mutually beneficial. On the one hand, it assists developing countries to meet their sustainable development objectives, and on the other hand, developed countries can meet their emissions reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol. Jamaica has been successful in trading CERs under this mechanism, with the commissioning of a 20 MW wind farm. This has been contributing to the countryís overall renewable energy targets. We encourage more investments by developed countries in projects of this nature in developing countries. An enormous amount of work needs to be done to assist host countries in building national capacity to participate effectively in the CDM.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to suggest some specific measures in moving forward:
1. The incorporation of urban and regional planning initiatives into transportation planning where energy and environmental considerations become paramount.
2. Encouraging incentives for the use of renewable energy sources for local energy supply
3. Recognizing that linkages based on stewardship are important and that the "green buildings" and "green cities" concepts are ones that should be adaptable without much difficulty.
4. The strengthening of the national and collective capacities of countries to develop policy strategies regarding the international regime on energy, climate change and atmospheric pollution - for example, the development of building codes to include various elements of energy efficiency and conservation and disaster mitigation, among others.
5. The development of public and private sector specific education and awareness strategies, so that decision-makers and the ordinary citizens become aware of energy issues with the understanding that they can make changes, which will endure and that behaviour will not be adjusted only on the basis of oil prices.
6. Promoting sustainable consumption and production practices, which can be implemented, based on realistic phases, economic implications and affordability, in the transformation of the regionís energy security.
In concluding Mr. Chairman, my delegation would like to reiterate that the large-scale expansion of renewable energy initiatives, at a scale sufficient to meet the needs of developing countries is crucial if we are to move forward, but this cannot be achieved without positive support from the international community, including through the UN and the IFIs. In addition, further work needs to be done at the global level to make investments in energy efficiency more attractive.
It is my sincere wish that we will move forward rapidly so that effective and appropriate policy measures can be adopted at CSD 15. Jamaica further hopes that collectively, will be able to find ways to continue to provide and expand access to equitable energy services in support of economic growth and poverty eradication without jeopardizing our long-term prosperity and environmental sustainability.
I thank you.