Last week at the Caribbean Conservation Summit, Saint Lucia announced its intention to move towards a clean energy future by becoming the next pioneering economy to join Carbon War Room’s Ten Island Challenge.
Launched at Rio+20 Summit last June, by Richard Branson, the Carbon War Room and Christiana Figueres, Executive Director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Ten Island Challenge works with pioneering island economies to reduce dependency on fossil fuels through the acceleration of commercial opportunities on islands, attracting expert engineering firms and investment.
Saint Lucia will now focus its efforts to transition off fossil fuels through a range of initiatives from renewable energies as well as waste and water efficiency. Although sustainability and low carbon plans aren’t new to island economies, successful implementation is. The Ten Island Challenge will highlight the opportunities on the island and Carbon War Room will reach out globally for the best solutions and most competitive bids. Saint Lucia joins its Caribbean neighbor, Aruba – who signed up for the challenge in 2012.
“Solving the energy challenge and marine conservation challenge in the Caribbean go hand-in-hand. I am very pleased that Saint Lucia has decided to join the Challenge – and hope more neighbouring islands will follow,” said Richard Branson.
Richard and Virgin Limited Edition have also taken an interest in the Challenge, offering Necker Island as ‘demo site’ to launch a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the installation of renewable energy solutions. Issued in February, the RFP has already attracted a multitude of bids from USA, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean, and installation of both wind and solar solutions take place later in the year.
Photo of Necker Island from http://www.virgin.com/people-and-planet/blog/cci-is-on-its-way-to-necker-island