Capacity Building of Caribbean Private Sector Environmental and Energy Management Capabilities Project
The PSOJ believes that energy efficiency has to be improved, because of the adverse effects on the country's balance of payments. Oil is consuming an increasing percentage of the country's earnings - oil and petroleum products imports account for over 30 percent of the total value of imports and over 100 percent of total export earnings.
To this end, the PSOJ secured funding from the EU, under the Proinvest facility, to undertake a regional energy and environmental management project in collaboration with private sector partners in Trinidad and Tobago. This involved a review of the legislative and regulatory framework, energy and environmental audits for selected firms, training workshops, energy efficiency tool-kits for businesses, a learning and investment mission to the EU, and a regional conference in Trinidad and Tobago.
The membership base of the PSOJ spans the agro-processing, manufacturing, energy and tourism sectors. These sectors are facing increasing challenges from environmental degradation which threaten their sustainability. Trade and investment agreements with major trading partners increasingly require improved environmental practices in response to the threats posed by global climate change. Hence, there is a clear business need for environmental management. Additionally, achieving international competitiveness for export success has been critically impacted by energy consumption and rising costs. The economic policy frameworks for both countries have highlighted energy efficiency as an area that requires attention and action.
There has been little private sector collaboration at the regional level to address these issues. The PSOJ led energy and environmental management project which began in June 20101 utilized a private sector collaborative approach as part of the process to develop solutions to the energy problems facing the region.
There is a paucity of baseline information on energy and environmental management at the firm level. This reflects itself in a low level of awareness of the financial benefits of good energy and environmental policies and practices. There is a similar lack of knowledge of the potential opportunities in the carbon trading market.
The PSOJ energy and environmental management project addressed some of these issues by establishing the current state of environmental/energy efficiency in Jamaica and Trinidad at the firm level, including the current state of the legislative and regulatory framework. From these findings policy recommendations and strategies will be submitted to the respective governments in Jamaica and Trinidad.
Tool kits for businesses in energy and environmental management and carbon trading were also developed under the project.
Stakeholders are now able to access the research findings and other relevant information coming out the project through an internet website facility which was launched in July 2011. This knowledge resource would also serve to link businesses seeking investments in environmental/energy projects with potential investors.
The website address is www.ceebip.org
The PSOJ is working with stakeholders to improve the country's energy and environmental management policy framework and infrastructure through the recently launched PSOJ Energy and Environment Committee, which is another outcome of the project.