Earlier this month in Canada, the Caribbean city of Barranquilla was nominated to join the World Energy Cities Partnership (WECP). It is to be the 20th city worldwide and the third from Latin America to be included in the collaborative initiative to promote sustainability and responsible energy policies.
Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Villahermosa in Mexico are the only two current Latin American cities that are members of the WECP. In joining, Barranquilla will join its peers in “finding creative and effective solutions to the new challenges that our cities face,” said WECP in a statement. “As the global energy scene changes and evolves, so too must our organization.”
WECP says that each new addition to the partnership will “facilitate business-to-business interaction, partnerships in energy-related activities and the sharing of industry knowledge, contacts, and experiences.” By including more members, the organization says it is also growing its “worldwide network of industry support services and resources” and helping member cities better collaborate with one another toward like-minded goals.
Halifax was this year’s host for the group’s annual general meeting, where a Colombian delegation led by Barranquilla Mayor Alejandro Char and representatives of ANDI (National Business Association of Colombia) and the University of Atlántico presented their achievements as an energy leader city. Others who traveled to the North American city included Madeleine Certain, the district secretary of economic development; Alberto Vives, manager of ANDI; and Diana Pérez of the University of Atlántico.
Char was eager to sign the agreement and has praised the energy potential of the city due to its strategic location in Colombia at the end of Magdalena’s river, the longest in the country with a delta that empties into the Caribbean. For her part, Madeleine Certain and her team have attempted to show Barranquilla’s economical and social accomplishments and highlighted the city’s competitive advantages in the energy market.
According to WECP head Michael Savage, who is also the mayor of Halifax, the global organization that was founded as a nonprofit in 1995 “is an essential aspect of modern development.” He added that “our members know that energy is more than just an industry.”
To Savage, the partnership’s essential pledge is to work toward “sustaining the ever-growing movement of people and commodities throughout the world, supporting millions of jobs and funding the scientists, educators, and engineers who continuously push the boundaries of innovation.”
The WECP’s member cities include Houston, United States; Perth, Australia; Doha, Qatar; Cape Town, South Africa; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Calgary, Canada, and Aberdeen, Scotland.
Photo: Barranquilla contingent goes to Canada for the World Energy Cities Partnership. (Credit: Alcalde de Barranquilla)