The Organization of American States (OAS) today hosted the “Dialogue of Regional Activities in the framework of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA)," in which regional specialists and experts discussed the new initiatives that have been implemented in the hemisphere to achieve sustainable development and to make appropriate use of energy resources.
During the opening ceremony, held at OAS headquarters in Washington DC, the OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Jorge Saggiante, highlighted the work done by the hemispheric organization in support for its Member Countries to "develop in a way that is sustainable and secure” for the environment. This work, continued Saggiante, is aimed at “promoting democracy, fostering prosperity, and reducing poverty and social inequities in our countries.”
The Executive Secretary also stressed that the organization has taken a leadership role in implementing various initiatives of the ECPA, among which he highlighted the Working Group on Energy Efficiency, coordinated by the government of Mexico and whose mission is " to promote the exchange of experiences and lessons learned on energy efficiency among the countries of the region;” the work carried out in the Caribbean, where he is studying "the exploration of the potential for an interconnected system of electricity among island states” is being studied, as well as “an interconnected network where Caribbean nations would invest heavily in renewable energy sources such as geothermal and wind, commercially viable and more accessible;" and the initiative on " sustainable communities in Central America and the Caribbean," which focuses on promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, resistance to natural hazards and the management and sustainable transport of waste.
For his part, the Permanent Representative of Colombia to the hemispheric organization, Ambassador Andres Gonzalez Diaz, recalled that the issue of energy resources was one of the pillars of the Sixth Summit of the Americas, held in Cartagena de Indias in April. At the Summit, the leaders of the hemisphere found that universal access to electricity is an "achievable, possible and verifiable objective," and should be one of the political priorities in the coming years, because it is closely linked to development, the fight against poverty and climate change. The diplomat highlighted the efforts that the OAS, together with its Member Countries, has developed in this area, as well as in biofuels and renewable energy.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the State Department of the United States, Matthew Rooney, said that energy security and climate change “are urgent global challenges that impact us all.” The U.S. diplomat said “as our national and regional economies grow, our demand for energy continuously increases, putting additional pressure on natural resources and the environment.” He highlighted that the OAS, in partnership with the U.S. government, has managed to develop clean energy projects in the Caribbean “such as installing solar panels on the National Energy Commission headquarters in the Dominican Republic, and a photovoltaic system in Antigua and Barbuda.” “The OAS has been instrumental in launching and maintaining a sustainable energy dialogue” with the countries of the region, he said.
The “Dialogue of Regional Activities in the framework of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA),” was organized by the OAS through its Department of Sustainable Development, together with the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States State Department and the non-governmental organization “Partners of the Americas.”
A gallery of photos of the event will be available here.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.