No US support for Jamaican coal

THE US State Department's Bureau of Energy Resources says the US will not support Jamaican coal-powered power plants, financially or otherwise.

Sadie Davidson

"We have a US government policy that we don't support World Bank or international financial institutions' financing of new coal facilities abroad for reasons of climate change," a department official told reporters from Jamaica’s The Sunday Gleaner.

The comments came during a visit to the Bureau of Energy Resources by reporters who were in the US for a working tour themed “The future of energy in the Americas”, which was sponsored by the US State Department's Foreign Press Centre.

Visiting countries included those likely to benefit from the Connecting the Americas 2022 initiative, whereby leaders of the western hemisphere committed to achieve universal access to electricity over the next decade through enhanced electrical interconnection.

The initiative was developed by Colombia and aims to increase access to reliable, clean, and affordable electricity for the 31 million people in the western hemisphere without access to reliable power.

The US official told The Sunday Gleaner that Jamaica had substantial renewable energy sources and questioned why investors had not taken up those opportunities in the area.

The official insisted that those were the issues the initiative would be tackling and the focus would not be on new coal-fired power plants.