Darroux at Wednesday's press conference

Dominica’s international development partners including the World Bank have been told that the island wants to move away from the importation of petroleum products.

Minister for the Environment Kenneth Darroux gave that indication at an international donors conference where the island is presenting its Low Carbon Climate Resilient Development Strategy.

“By developing and utilizing renewable energy, we intend to reduce and eliminate the importation of petroleum products which are becoming more and more expensive while at the same time emitting green house gases that causes climate change,” Dr Darroux told the conference.

He said work currently being undertaken to determine the extent of Dominica’s geothermal reserves was an integral part of that process.

Exploration work is being carried out at three test wells in the Roseau Valley area.

“The vision is that the funds saved by exploiting this clean and cheaper form of energy can be used to build sea defence walls and other critical infrastructure that are required to withstand the damaging and destructive effects of climate change,” the minister said.

Participants at the conference include key stake holders from international development partners, regional agencies working in the area of climate change, food security, renewable energy and several related agencies and organisations.

Austrie

Their representatives were told by Acting Prime Minister Reginald Austrie that Dominica wants to be “the cleanest, greenest” country in the hemisphere.

Austrie also said that a key priority was the transformation of the island to a climate resilient economy.

“Going forward, Dominica needs to do more through setting higher standards for energy efficiency, regulating and financing the right mechanisms and incentives to achieve the desired improvements in energy efficiency,” Austrie said.

Dominica is participating along with several other Caribbean states, in a World Bank supported Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR).

The three-day conference which began here on Wednesday has a number of objectives, including raising financial resources to implement the island’s newly introduced climate related development strategy.