Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Business, Trade and Energy, Dr. Vince Henderson has said that Dominica must take action to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
Dr. Henderson’s comments came during his statement on World Consumer Rights Day observed on March 15.
World Consumer Rights Day is about empowering consumers and providing them with the tools to navigate the rapidly changing consumer environment. It is also an opportunity to make representation for the rights of all consumers to be respected and protected.
“In Dominica, we experienced a surge in energy prices in 2022 and the projections are that prices may increase throughout 2023,” he said. “These increased product prices affect every aspect of our citizens’ lives from transportation cost to the price of basic food items for their families.”
He continued, “We must therefore take action to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”
According to him, Dominica has the natural resources to support this necessary transition, “however we must be ready to collaborate along the journey.”
Dr. Henderson stated also that nationally, Dominica’s government recognizes that energy services are key to unlocking the potential for more sustainable environmental, social, and economic development in Dominica.
“A national energy policy has been developed and is intended to address the needs [of] citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica, to help combat increased energy cost and reduce Dominica’s greenhouse gas emissions in line with the mantra, the Nature Isle of the Caribbean’s efforts to become the first climate resilient nation in the world,” he noted.
Dr. Henderson went on to state that amidst the greatest cost-of-living crisis in this generation, and as the energy world drastically responds to supply, with additional climate issues Dominica has a key role to play in delivering a just transition for consumers.
He indicated that presently most economies are facing a deepening energy crisis globally which is having an untold impact on vulnerable consumers with food price increases.
“Consumers everywhere are radically changing their lifestyles to access essential needs,” he remarked. “Consumer international in its latest member insight survey reported that over 80% of consumers are adjusting their budgets to pay their energy bill.”
World Consumer Rights Day was observed under the theme: “Empowering Consumers through Clean Energy Transitions”.