A very pleasant good morning to the CEO, Mr. Omar, fellow directors from Grenada and Saint Lucia, the consultant expert and of course, the participants. It is a pleasure to give brief remarks at this very important and timely exercise. As a matter of fact, while I’ve participated in many zoom meetings, this is by virtue my first remarks at an official activity online. Most of the past speakers have really given comprehensive knowledge of the project. What we want to say is that, this exercise is very timely, especially now and coupled with the economic challenges that we are now facing. We are now challenged with reshaping our lives and our livelihoods and a lot of economic resources are being put into rechanneling, reshaping and refocusing our lives based on the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this endeavour, whatever we can save or contribute towards energy saving will be useful as we cope with this new pandemic that is really crippling the world economically. Naturally, I think there are some synergies in ensuring that we have energy efficiency and have some kind of cost saving in our operations.
I want to remind us that the establishment of energy efficiency for buildings and other systems that are associated with buildings is quite useful and timely. As a matter of fact, in going forward [we have to] recognize that energy efficiency is a significant support mechanism to sustainable development, and as Small Island Developing States all of us would have subscribed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and by virtue, we all have to play our part concertedly in achieving these goals. Even though, we are Small Island Developing States, we have to ensure that our energy footprints are minimal because naturally for our small island states we are very vulnerable, not only to climate change but our economic activity of tourism is really dependent on our pristine ecosystems. Therefore, if we do not harness our efforts concertedly to ensure energy efficiency and minimize our energy footprint, then our endeavours will not lead to enhancing or mitigating against the effect of climate change. As such, at the end of the day we are going to destroy our economic activities, which by virtue is the tourism and agricultural industry.
So, this training is quite useful and I am hoping that the participants will enhance their capacity individually and collectively, and while we are going to still work individually within our respective territories, it is my hope that this harmonization of knowledge could be shared across the region because we are so closely knit. Not only economically, but also to ensure that the whole CARICOM benefits from this undertaking because without this collaboration, – for example in the OECS countries, we are all paired economically by virtue of our currency union, and what happens if there is economic disaster in any of these economies, it will affect us all.
Accordingly, we have to ensure that we work together on these building codes and put systems in place so that they could effectively resolve some of our problems. Therefore, on behalf of the SVG Bureau of Standards, I want to commend CROSQ, the funding agency ESD through 5Cs and UNEP-GEF, the expert and all participants on this activity… and indeed it’s a welcomed one. Many times it happens that we go beyond our region for expertise, so it is always good when we can use persons within our own bubble to present these trainings for us.
Just a quick note though: St Vincent and the Grenadines, we have been a bit late in promoting energy efficiency, nevertheless, we are hoping by the end of this year to have several energy related standards declared. As a matter of fact, within this month of September we have three energy efficiency standards that will be declared as national standards – that is, one for energy labelling refrigerating appliances requirements that were taken from CROSQ; energy labelling for compact fluorescent lamps and light emitting diodes, as well as energy labelling for air conditioning requirements. So, these will be declared in the month of September, God’s willing and my Standards Officer is also looking at interventions that will be useful to ensure that our landscape is conducive to this energy efficiency endeavour.
Naturally with the various participants from St Vincent and the Grenadines, that are attending this training, we are going to ensure that our technical committee for energy efficiency is active. So, to those members who are online and participating, kindly remember that you are part of our technical expertise and we will be calling on you from time to time to ensure that you can help us to shape this energy efficient environment that we so require.
I want to thank you again for this opportunity and wish the expert consultant and participants a very successful meeting and to note that the SVGBS supports and remains committed to these endeavours.
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