Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis, April 13, 2023 (Press Secretary, PMO)- Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, delivered remarks at the meeting of the Western Hemisphere Department (WHD), International Monetary Fund (IMF) Meeting with Caribbean Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors, yesterday, Wednesday 12th April 2023, in Washington, DC, during the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings.
The Prime Minister was invited to speak on the topic “Reaping Opportunities from Green Energy”.
The meeting was chaired by Deputy Director of the Western Hemisphere Department, IMF, Mr. Nigel Chalk.
This was the Prime Minister’s first time attending the meeting “following the historic victory at the polls in August 2022”.
During his presentation, Prime Minister Dr. Drew expressed some of the challenges faced by small island developing states in relation to climate change.
He stated, “As one of the smallest among the community of nations, St. Kitts and Nevis is proud to make a contribution to the global effort to find solutions to the multiplicity of issues which we face as a collective. One of the most difficult challenges we are forced to confront is the threat posed by climate change, and efforts to adapt and mitigate the deleterious effects resulting from global warming.”
Dr. Drew further outlined the efforts being taken by Saint Kitts and Nevis to address the effects of climate change within the Federation.
“In keeping with our commitment to global efforts to reduce ozone-depleting gases, we have declared our goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 61 percent by 2030, using 2010 as the base period. This is indeed an ambitious undertaking, one backed by concrete proposals involving the transition from energy based on fossil fuels to cleaner and greener renewable energy alternatives”, he added.
“In St. Kitts and Nevis, we are blessed with an abundance of sunshine to generate solar power, wind, and geothermal energy reserves, particularly on the island of Nevis. We have actively considered all three of these renewable energy sources and are at an advanced stage of rolling out concrete proposals which are transformational in nature, redounding to the overall benefit of our people… we are convinced that exploring opportunities for green energy alternatives will lead to lower energy prices”, said Prime Minister Dr. Drew as he explained the initiatives being explored by his government.
The Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis is working assiduously to implement climate-smart strategies and practices that lead to behavioural change and build on existing sustainable approaches in keeping with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“Lower energy prices serve as a solid platform for growth and development in agriculture, manufacturing, education, ICT, health care, and transportation sectors, to name a few. We regard it as the high tide which causes all the proverbial boats to float unhindered by obstacles in the ocean. High energy prices impede economic and human development. Lowering the cost of energy is therefore a clearly defined development objective of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis”, he said.
Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew also made mention of “opportunities in geothermal energy” referencing a project projected for completion by 2025.
“Our government has taken action to secure the requisite financing from the Caribbean Development Bank to construct a 30 MW plant by 2025. Drilling operations are projected to commence later this year. Given the current domestic demand of 28 Megawatts of power and the additional supply provided by solar and wind, we are excited by the prospect of achieving our goal of full energy independence. To take it one step further, we intend to explore opportunities for the export of geothermal energy to the neighbouring islands, thereby significantly improving our economic outlook.”
The new initiatives are expected to increase economic activity within the Federation, providing employment opportunities and significant financial growth for businesses.