In the last two decades, we have been witness to some spectacular changes in the cycles of weather phenomenon that affect our island our region and the world. The devastating impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes, hurricane Lennie in 1999 and tropical storm Tomas in 2010, Hurricane Maria 2017 can easily be recalled. These natural phenomena wiped out millions of dollars of infrastructure and years of physical development virtually overnight.
The assumption is that we can reverse these threats to our planet with a de-escalation of our reliance on fossil fuels, address indiscriminate disposal of waste and large scale reforestation.
As a nation, we have made some progress in our response to the threats centered on energy efficiency goals of reduced energy consumption, eliminating energy waste and improve access to renewable energy technologies.
We are ina period of global sensitivity about the impact of human activities on the long-term wellbeing of the planet, I am please to be able to focus on the efforts of Saint Lucia through the activities of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) to address these impacts through the robust agenda of adoption of standards, with the objective of mitigating negative environmental impacts, protect biodiversity, safeguard the health our population and contribute to reducing the threat of climate change.
We have to date, moved along, a combination policies for emission-reduction technologies and practices, economic incentives for energy efficient technologies, addressed factors related to overall development issues and application of regulatory measures, principally regulations and standards.
Among the adoptions, are standards for environmental management and performance evaluation guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions and combating land degradation, energy management and standards related to the development and use of new energy efficient technologies and renewable energy sources.
Concurrently, we are invested in a number of regional projects with major environmental significance for the Caribbean and Saint Lucia. The CARICOM Regional Energy Efficiency Building Codes (REEBC), which comprise Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for Buildings, as well as the Strengthening of the Regional Quality Infrastructure in the Caribbean in the Areas of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies (R3E) including Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling Programme (ES&L).
The projects are high value interventions to address climate change and meet critical United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for Saint Lucia.
As a pilot country for both projects, Saint Lucia has done extensive work in its participation in the work programme for the development and adoption of standards for the building code and for energy efficiency labeling.
To date stakeholders in the retail and manufacturing sectors have been part of a series of consultations with the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards in the preparation for the implementation of the energy efficiency labeling project.