The rising cost of fuel that generates energy and the impact not just on consumers,
but also on the environment are the focus of a World Consumer Rights Day
message delivered by Trade Minister E.P Chet Greene.
Speaking on the theme: ‘Empowering Consumers Through Clean Energy
Transitions’ Greene observed, that countries across the globe are faced with the
harsh reality that most economies are facing a deepening energy crisis globally,
which is having an especial untold impact on vulnerable consumers.
He referenced Consumers International which predicted that global energy prices
would rise by 50% by the end of 2022 and will stay high in 2023. The world, it
noted, needs energy to support everyday life and drive human and economic
development. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that in 2019,
over 26,000 terawatt-hours of electricity were produced worldwide. This electricity
is being produced by a range of energy sources, but mostly fossil fuels.
He noted that energy production and use, are the largest source of greenhouse gas
emissions around the world. “As greenhouse gases are a driving force behind
climate change, countries worldwide including Antigua and Barbuda are actively
working on a clean energy transition by changing how energy is produced,” he
Greene emphasized the government’s commitment to the clean energy transition,
which means shifting energy production away from sources that release a lot of
greenhouse gases, such as fossil fuels, to those that release little to no greenhouse
“As we celebrate World Consumer Rights Day, it affords consumers, businesses,
and the government the opportunity for us to place greater emphasis on the need
for the protection of our environment from the harmful effects of greenhouse
gasses. Additionally, it allows for increased awareness and promotion of various
forms of renewable energy sources and the advantages to include cost-saving
benefits available to consumers,” he remarked.
The trade minister noted that, as the world struggles to navigate what he described
as ‘the greatest cost of living crisis in a generation’ and as the energy world
drastically responds to supply and climate issues, the Antigua and Barbuda
Government considers it crucial that long-term sustainability is achieved by the
integration of renewable energy sources, to the benefit of consumers. “Consumers
too, must play their part by utilizing energy conservation measures and promoting
energy efficiency,” he urged.