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Claire Fitzpatrick at Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference 2022

Release date:
24 January 2022

Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference Opening session panel  

Opening remarks  


Good morning - all protocols observed.

bpTT is honoured to continue its support for this conference and we welcome the expanded focus on sustainable energy and the wider Caribbean. 

When it comes to the energy transition - we need a global, regional, local and individual approach and we need leadership at all these levels. 

Where there is need for change, there is always the need for leadership and we know – there is a clear need for change in energy systems. 

So what is sustainable energy?  There is no single agreed definition but the most common is • ‘energy that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".  The definition has evolved to include environmental, social and economic needs – so it is complex.

We know that small island developing states feel the effects of climate change more than developed countries – rising sea levels and the intensity of natural disasters.  

The change needed requires us to look inward.  

  • We all have both existing and future opportunities to develop sustainable energy solutions. 
  • We need to work solutions in each of our countries as we each have different starting points so there is a need to balance how we pursue Paris goals and COP 26 obligations with where each of us are and our budget challenges in terms of pace.  More importantly, the change needed also requires us to act outwardly. The relatively small size of this region means that even if all the countries and companies in the Caribbean meet their obligations and ambitions, if larger countries do not meet theirs, we will still be disproportionately impacted. 

Business and country leaders can work toward a common view of the actions we need larger countries to take to be able to advocate more effectively.  However, that does not remove the need for us to be leaders to demonstrate that we will do our share for our countries and to contribute to the wider global ambition.


These are some of the challenges to be discussed over the next two days. 

I look forward to the dialogue, including sharing some progress that bp has made on our own path to Net Zero. We recognize that we are part of a global picture. We want to share our experiences but also learn from others. The true value of this conference will come from turning dialogue and sharing  into action and areas of advocacy – This is the leadership we require.  

Many of you could be forgiven for thinking  in the past 12 months ‘What has changed?’ 

In fact, a lot has changed:

  • Perhaps most notable is the intensity and consensus that countries and companies are not transitioning fast enough and that the pace of change needs to be vastly accelerated if we are to achieve the 1.5% goal  or even the 2 degree goal
  • We have seen significant shareholder and stakeholder action to hold companies accountable and there have been calls from all quarters to set more aggressive targets 
  • We have also seen more companies and countries setting targets or accelerating their commitments  But the challenge remains: 
    We need to address the climate crisis knowing the world needs more energy, but energy that is cleaner.  

Our ability to meet climate commitments and the energy needs of the people in the Caribbean will take all hands on deck.  
Companies like ours need to continue to take action to improve our operations and to partner and work with others to support broader country and regional goals.  

While the government has a role to play to frame policy and regulatory frameworks that can support investment; 
business organizations such as the energy chamber also have a role to play in supporting thought leadership and collaboration across industry stakeholders.  

Academic institutions are needed to support research and upskilling our graduates, companies need to lead by building talent, bringing technology, know-how and best practices to the table

Multilateral agencies provide important leadership and support in capacity building and accessing green funding, something that as the Caribbean we need to take more advantage of.  I am looking forward to the exploration of these issues in this morning’s panel and over the next two days.  


Thank you