Energy efficient port operations in the Caribbean: Challenges and possible solutions
(Caribbean Maritime Institute; WMU Women's Association)
The movement of goods is essential to the sustenance of the global economy and seated at the central point, is the port; which serves as the focal point and the primary mechanism for sending, receiving and transferring cargo between ships and the various territories. As such, there are a number of activities and operations, executed by the various stakeholders, that have significant impacts on the surrounding environment; and the Caribbean, being a region of small island developing states, whose economies are highly dependent on maritime and shipping activities, prove to be amongst the most vulnerable.
Despite being aware of the expectant impacts of climate change on the region, the Caribbean states face a number of challenges, financial and otherwise, in addressing the matter of maritime energy efficiency. Effective regulation of the maritime and port operations is the foundational catalyst to addressing port energy efficiency in the region; and of the fourteen (14) states within the region, a mere fifty-seven per cent (57%) or eight (8) states have ratified MARPOL Annex VI, with only two (2) of these ratifying states having implemented the said convention in their national law.
This paper will examine the port operations within the Caribbean, with focus on the busier ports, such as the port of Kingston in Jamaica and Freeport in Bahamas, with an aim at identifying the challenges and factors, that affect the adoption of energy-efficient port operations. The paper will also highlight possible solutions to transform the port and maritime operations within the Caribbean.