Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources & Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering attended the Summit of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) Energy Ministers on behalf of the Minister for Communications and Works, in Brussels, Belgium.
The summit was held from June 16 to 17 and included OCT and European Union (EU) member-state Government officials (at the political & technical levels); members of the European Parliament; European (energy) research institutes; the European Commission; and the European Investment Bank.
Honourable Pickering said he was pleased to represent the Territory in the ongoing discussions related to energy explaining that the local energy demands require thoughtful planning and execution. He said this takes into account sound environmental management.
Prior to leaving for the summit, Minister Pickering said, “It is our view that energy efficiency and environmental protection must go hand in hand to better our Territory. We are looking forward to valuable discussion as well as the sharing of best practices so as to continue the progress made in both ministries.”
The two-day summit was devoted to specific components of an OCT wide Sustainable Energy Roadmap. Energy Ministers discussed the challenges and opportunities for OCTs sustainable energy; increasing technical and institutional capacity through partnerships, and investments, instruments & priorities for sustainable energy.
The final outcome of the Summit of OCT Energy Ministers will be presented and discussed in a dedicated session at the Policy Conference of the European Union Sustainable Energy Week. At this conference, OCT Energy Ministers will participate with European Union policy makers, the private sector, and other stakeholders to share best practices through relevant panel discussions.
Minister Pickering is accompanied by Anthony McMaster, Permanent Secretary, of the Ministry of Communications and Works and Henry Creque, Deputy General Manager of the BVI Electricity Corporation.
Engagement with the Summit of OCT Energy Ministers represents the Government of the Virgin Islands goal and commitment of strengthening international relations with partners aimed at advancing the Territory’s efforts to protect, conserve and manage our environment while pursuing public utilities that are reliable and affordable in support of an enhanced community life in the Virgin Islands.