$8 billion to transform Caribbean into climate smart zone

By Olivia Rose
CARIBBEAN leaders attending the One Planet Summit in Paris on Tuesday (December 12) launched the Caribbean Climate Smart Coalition, a new public-private coalition intended to “break through the systemic obstacles that stop finance flowing to climate-smart investments”.
The $8 billion climate investment plan is expected to transform energy systems in the Caribbean, build resiliency, drive economic growth and set a global example.
In wake of the unprecedented devastation across the Caribbean after hurricanes Irma and Maria, the global community is acting quickly and giving generously to relieve suffering and help to rebuild the scarred region.
The announcement was made at the recent summit hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron to review progress made on the Paris Agreement adopted by global governments two years ago.
The One Planet Summit is an alliance of hundreds of global leaders from all sectors, determined to demonstrate the power of collective action in addressing such a global issue as the fight against climate change.
More than 50 speakers including NGOs, entrepreneurs, investors, government members, local stakeholders and scientists convened to take action around the four round tables.
Adaptation, mitigation and mobilisation were the three key words at the summit as stakeholders worked towards the goals of identifying and implementing tangible solutions to mobilise public and private funding which will in turn enable large-scale deployment especially for vulnerable countries.
According to a press release from the summit: “With the right domestic and international reforms, the world can step up – and help unleash the means to catalyse an ambitious $8 billion investment plan to bring greater energy and infrastructure resilience to 3.2 million Caribbean households.”
According to president Macron, this would help Caribbean islands eliminate their costly dependency on fossil fuels so that they can meet close to 100 percent of their energy needs from renewable sources.
Macron noted that the plan will further embed resilience into communities and livelihoods to realise the bold ambitions of all Caribbean people.
“The consequences of climate change affect everyone, so it is up to each and every stakeholder in society to act,” he said.
To help generate further investment, the coalition has formed a Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator with an estimated budget of $6 to 10 million for a three-year period supported by funding and resources from the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group), the World Bank Group, and the Caribbean Development Bank.
The Inter-American Development Bank Group President, Luis Alberto Moreno, said: “The IDB Group reaffirms its continued and historical commitment to the Caribbean and will work with leaders of the region to improve lives by creating climate-smart and vibrant economies, where people are safe, productive, and happy.
“We hope that through this Climate Smart Coalition, in addition to offering new affordable financing, we will use our wide physical presence on the ground to work closely with the people of the region to design their Caribbean of the future, today.”
World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim noted that the Caribbean is in the “eye of the storm”.
He pointed out that coordinated international support to rebuild and better plan for the future is needed.
“At the World Bank Group, we welcome the Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition and plan to support it so countries get back on their feet and are better able to deal with the growing frequency and intensity of storms and hurricanes.”
Source TC Weekly News

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