As Covid-19 continues to impact livelihoods and economies, what are the implications for the clean energy market in the Caribbean? How can we personally rise to the challenges and maintain our own self-resilience in these unprecedented times?
We gathered an all-female webinar panel of Caribbean energy leaders to hear how they are navigating Covid-19 related changes to their industry, while keeping themselves and the teams they manage motivated and healthy.
Racquel Moses, Chief Executive Officer, Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator
“This moment of crisis presents an opportunity to think, ‘where do we want to be on the other side of this?’ Let’s use this time to focus on three things: first, educate people on why clean energy is so important. Second, let’s stay focused on the potential job creation – immediate and direct – but also the long-term expansion of a clean energy industry and braintrust for export to other economies. Third, let’s coalesce with others in the industry to make sure there is maintained focus as we move forward.”
“The things suffering the most are exercise and sleep – the things we need the most right now, but I stay focused on the gratitude. The gratitude of being all together and having this time. We’re doing the best we can and that’s all we can ask for right now.”
Allison Jean, Chief Executive Officer, National Utilities Regulatory Commission (St. Lucia)
“This is a period of recalibration. Covid-19 is like a hurricane. We need to review a lot of our systems and review how best we can change for us to be able to cushion the effects of such global disasters. What Covid-19 is showing us is that we need to pursue energy independence. For us in the Caribbean, RE is the way. Luckily for us, the supply chain for oil and fuel for diesel generation has not been cut. But if it did, then we would have a major problem in the sustainability of power generation. We believe that although oil prices have plummeted and it may be attractive right now, we need to go beyond oil and pursue renewable energy.”
“As women, we take for granted the amount of work that we do when we go outside the home. We work for 8 hours in the office and still come back home and still do all that we’re doing right now. Now I have greater flexibility – I choose what I work on, the time I work, the time I work in the garden, the time I watch TV, the time I go for a walk. How do I now create a new pattern of my life post-Covid? When I go back into the office, I want to still try and maintain these things in my schedule.”
Therese Turner-Jones, General Manager, Country Department Caribbean Group, Inter-American Development Bank
“Can we see the green economy as the path to recovery? We are confronted with the biggest existential crisis of our lifetime. We need to really dig deep and decide if we are serious about creating a climate-smart zone for the Caribbean, and what are those steps we can take to make this a reality? What’s the mindset required to do this? It’s not just a ‘women in energy’ issue, everyone must come together and look through this lens as the way to do development. It starts with each of us individually.”
“As a head of an organization, the most important thing to transmit to my team is how grateful I am for my job, and to have an amazing team working with me. People are still optimistic and have good attitudes. I’ve carved out time for morning meditation, a morning huddle with my team and an end of day meeting – we’re coaching each other, sharing how we’re coping, checking on each other’s health. We’re asking ourselves as a family, what can we do to help those in need right now?”
Lara M. Rios, Partner, Holland & Knight
“This is the time to lean in. I would hate to see that the severity of this crisis causes us to loosen environmental and safety standards. Renewable energy and resilient frameworks have to remain the continued objective.”
“I’m thankful for the time I’m able to spend with my young children. We all make sacrifices at the expense of our families with travel and work outside the home, so even though I’m having later nights that I’d like to have, I’m trying to stay focused on gratitude and silver linings.”