Saturday, February 20, 2016

Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency inaugurated in Barbados

BRIDGETOWN, 28 October 2015 - The Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) was today inaugurated during a ceremony held in the capital of Barbados.

This follows the decision of the 36th Regular meeting of the heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to establish the centre as a regional implementation hub, with Barbados as the host country. The regional centre was developed and promoted by the CARICOM Secretariat in close partnership with the Small Island Developing States Sustainable Energy and Climate Resilience Initiative (SIDS DOCK) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Financial support is being provided by the governments of Austria and Germany. CCREEE will be part of a wider network of regional sustainable energy centres for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Africa, the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean. Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados and Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, stressed that the urgent establishment of the centre was in line with the region’s strategic goals and focus on sustainable development. Confirming his country’s support for the centre, he added that “the CCREEE will act as a regional hub and think-tank for sustainable energy issues and activities in the region”.

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General, Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said: “The centre’s main role will be to assist CARICOM Member States in implementing the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS), as well as their respective national energy strategies and targets. The centre is an important contribution of CARICOM to the upcoming Climate Summit in Paris.”

Ambassador Vince Henderson, Chairman of SIDS DOCK, added: “We consider CCREEE and the wider network of centres for Small Island Developing States to be an essential contribution to make the Sustainable Energy for All initiative a reality for our economies and societies. The centres are expected to cooperate closely on the SIDS-SIDS energy agenda and will form not only a strong advocacy, but also a strong cooperation group.”

Pradeep Monga, UNIDO Director and Special Representative of the Director General on Energy, called “CCREEE a critical mechanism for up-scaling national efforts, particularly in the areas of project execution, capacity development, and knowledge and data management, as well as investment and business promotion, within the sustainable energy sector”.Ambassador Mikael Barfod, Delegation of the European Union to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, highlighted the creation of CCREEE as a major milestone and pledged support for the initiative.

According to Martin Ledolter, Managing Director of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), “the centre will empower local people within the Caribbean to benefit from the growing global sustainable energy markets and participate in the emerging opportunities for south-south and north-south technology and knowledge transfer”.

The inauguration of CCREEE will also be part of the Caribbean Energy Week, which will be observed across the region from 8 to 14 November under the theme “EmPOWERING our Sustainable Development”.” More



Friday, February 19, 2016

TEDx University College of the Cayman Islands

Did you get a chance to see Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, etc.) doing her TED talk on Monday evening? If not, you can catch her online at:

Her talk entitled “My year of saying yes to everything” was absolutely inspiring.

But that’s what TED is about, as you already know if you were one of the 124 people who registered for this past Tuesday’s simulcast at UCCI of the big TED 2016 event in Vancouver, Canada.

However, nothing beats the thrill of seeing live speakers, engaging with them face-to-face, and discussing those great ideas with other TED event attendees.

Of course, the cheapest admission ticket for TED 2016 in Vancouver was US$8500. (Not an admission price that just anyone can afford in these challenging economic times.)

So, keep in mind that just next month, on March 19th, you can experience the same excitement of live speakers and great ideas at TEDxUCCI 2016. The theme this year is FutureVision…and it will undoubtedly be the most insightful TEDx ever for investigating the many pressing issues facing Cayman and the world.

From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., you’ll hear great talks on topics including conservation, energy use and production, the ocean’s potential, heath, technical literacy, economic and social sustainability, creative professions, and dealing effectively with today’s complex world. There will also be a new production by the UCCI theatre arts students and great food prepared by UCCI’s Hospitality students.

Nick Robson of the Cayman Institute shall be presenting a talk entitled Predicting The Future. Come out and be entertained and hopefully learn a thing or two.

Early Bird 2-for-1: Bring a Friend for Free!

Through the end of this week, two registrants can pay just one admission fee to attend TEDxUCCI 2016. Both people must register for the TEDxUCCI 2016 event online and then both registration confirmations can be taken to the UCCI campus within 10 working days for payment. As long as both registrations were made before February 21st, only one admission fee will be charged.

Admission costs $25 for non-students and $10 for students. But this week’s 2-for-1 special can provide as much as a 50% savings for TEDx-enthusiasts on a budget. TEDxUCCI 2016 is hosted by UCCI and generously sponsored by the Ministry of Community Affairs, Youth & Sports and Foster’s Food Fair.

To register or for more information, go to or contact


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

CARICOM Reviews Commitments Made under the Paris Agreement

CARICOM Reviews Commitments Made under the Paris Agreement

12 February 2016: A two-day meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) climate change ministers undertook a review of the outcomes of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC and assessed opportunities for the region. The main outcome of COP 21 is the Paris Agreement, an international climate change treaty that is expected to enter into force in 2020. Parties to the Paris Agreement agreed to limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.

Parties further agreed in the Paris Agreement to foster adaptation, climate resilience and low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions development, and to ensure finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development.

The CARICOM meeting brought together climate change technicians and their ministers who addressed COP 21 outcomes, reviewed commitments made by the region in the context of the Paris Agreement and assessed opportunities associated with CARICOM member States acceding to the Agreement.

The Paris Agreement will be opened for signature at the UN Headquarters in New York from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017. The UN Secretary-General will convene a high-level signature ceremony on 22 April 2016. The Paris Agreement shall enter into force when at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of the total global GHG emissions become Parties to the Agreement.

The CARICOM meeting of climate change ministers took place in Belize City, Belize, from 11-12 February 2016. [CARICOM Press Release] [UNFCCC Decision Adopting the Paris Agreement] [Paris Agreement: Next Steps] More

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Japan, CARICOM, UNDP Support Climate Change Efforts in the Caribbean

28 January 2016: The Government of Japan, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have launched a US$15 million Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) to help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change in line with their long-term development strategies.

The initiative will help Caribbean countries to put in practice actions and policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change, including Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). It also aims to improve access to sustainable energy and help reduce fossil fuel dependence. Participating countries include Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

The launch took place on 28 January 2016, during the first Japan-CARICOM Summit, which took place in Barbados with the presence of the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe and Heads of CARICOM member States.

Speaking at the launch of the J-CCCP, Masatoshi Sato, Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago, stressed that the project will also: contribute to building an information sharing platform for developing and implementing climate change policies; promote the transfer of adaptation and mitigation technologies; enhance the Caribbean countries' capacity to cope with natural disasters; and promote South-South and North-South cooperation.

Gloria Joseph, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning, Economic Development and Investment, Dominica, welcomed the opportunity to benefit from early response warning systems, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures.

Rebeca Arias, Director of UNDP Regional Centre in Panama, Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, emphasized that, in light of the Paris Agreement, the initiative is “timely in assisting countries to respond more effectively to the impacts of climate change and to increase their resilience through actions today to make them stronger for tomorrow.” More [UNDP Press Release] [Caribbean Climate Press Release]