The Virgin Islands needs to attend international conferences in part to collaborate with other small island nations in addressing challenges like climate change, Deputy Premier Dr. Kedrick Pickering told reporters recently.

As the minister headed to Aruba for the “Share Sustainability” conference Monday and Tuesday, he stressed the importance of another key benefit to such events: new ideas.

“By attending this conference, we hope to return with innovative and practical ideas which we can implement in order for us to benefit from cleaner, more environmentally friendly sources of energy,” Dr. Pickering said in a press release. “By embracing the use of renewable energy we can expect, among other things, a lower cost on our energy bills as well as a cleaner environment.”

Dr. Pickering also spoke about renewable energy in the VI at a July conference held in Gibraltar on conservation and sustainability in United Kingdom overseas territories, Crown dependencies and other small island communities. At the meeting, he urged Caribbean states to work toward producing 50 percent of their energy from renewable sources.

That conference also led to a raft of conclusions and recommendations from the UKOTs Conservation Forum.

See the Oct. 29, 2015 edition for full coverage.