Mrs. Francine Blackman – Permanent Secretary in Barbados’ Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship – has been elected as Chairman of the Executive Board of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE).
Mrs Blackman takes over from Ambassador Dr Vince Henderson – Dominica’s Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States (OAS) – who first chaired the CCREEE Executive Board following the commencement of the Centre’s operational phase in 2018.
Ambassador Henderson was instrumental in the establishment of the CCREEE, coordinating with SIDS DOCK, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNDIO) and the Government of Austria for the receipt of technical and financial support by the Centre. Ambassador Henderson also negotiated the CCREEE Headquarters Agreement with the Government of Barbados.
In her role as Permanent Secretary, Mrs Blackman functions as chief advisor to the Minister of Energy, a task that lends well to her chairpersonship of the CCREEE Executive Board which commenced on December 11, 2020.
As Permanent Secretary, Mrs Blackman has responsibility for advancing Barbados’ energy aspirations of 100% renewable energy by the year 2030, which includes the development of an Integrated Resource Resilience Plan (IRRP); regulatory requirements to advance the exploitation of Barbados’ wind resource; an electric vehicle strategy and the streamlining of the licencing regime to encourage more efficient investment in the sector; all tasks which align well with the strategic programmes of the CCREEE.
The CCREEE Executive Board is tasked with provision of strategic guidance for the Centre, including reviewing the CCREEE’s annual work programmes and budget for approval by the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED); approving regional sustainable energy and energy-related projects and supporting the implementation of the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS), among other functions.
Other members of the New Executive Board include: Dr Mahendra Sharma of Guyana; Ms Denise Tulloch of Jamaica; Mr Kenrick Burke of Montserrat (Vice Chair); Mr Heinz Habertheuer, representing the Austrian Development Agency (ADA); Ms Rana Ghoneim, representing UNIDO; Dr Albert Binger of Jamaica, representing SIDS DOCK; Mr Joseph Cox of Jamaica, representing the CARICOM Secretariat and, Ms Danielle Evanson of Barbados, representing COTED.
Mrs Blackman and the new board will guide the CCREEE’s operations through 2022. The CCREEE thanks the outgoing Chairman and Executive Board for their service and extend a hearty welcome to the new Executive Board and Mrs Blackman, in her capacity as Chairperson.