The St. Kitts and Nevis Observer reports that the Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition, an ambitious public-private initiative aimed at funding a US$8 billion investment plan to transform the region into the world’s first “climate-smart” zone and benefit 3.2 million Caribbean households, was launched on December 12, 2017.
The coalition’s work will focus on coordinated action on four initial critical priorities:
`1- Scaling renewable energy as rapidly as possible to help free Caribbean countries from the high cost of imported fossil fuels and the high vulnerability of centralised distribution systems
2- Building low-carbon and resilient infrastructure including nature-based approaches, to better withstand future extreme weather events
3- Creating innovative financing models such as a debt-for-resilience swap initiative in exchange for demonstrated progress on policy reforms and investments to strengthen resilience and promote climate-smart growth pathways
4- Strengthening the capacity of Caribbean countries and key regional institutions to plan for long-term resilience and climate smart growth strategies
The announcement of the creation of the coalition came at the One Planet Summit, convened by the Government of France to review progress on the Paris climate agreement which was adopted two years ago today.
Caribbean leaders have brought together a coalition of global organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), as well as businesses and supporters from the Caribbean and the international community, that will help to establish partnerships that can make investment deals happen.
“Caribbean leaders have come together as a powerful collective to build a better future for the people of the Caribbean,” said Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell. He added, “We welcome the financial commitments from our partners – around US$1.3 billion for recovery efforts and US$2.8 billion toward the vision shared by all members of the Coalition and others. This is a great first step. Now we need to turn this possibility into a set of realities that benefit all our people. We all need to work together to change the rules of the game to accelerate climate-smart financial flows for the Caribbean and other small island developing states. Together we can build thriving economies fuelled by clean energy, nature-based resilient design and innovation. The time for action is now.”
Dominican leader Roosevelt Skerrit added that despite the immense human suffering and economic damage caused by recent hurricanes, “the people of the Caribbean do not want to be just passive victims of climate change. Rather, they want to be active participants in designing and implementing solutions, and for their Caribbean region to serve as a beacon of hope for island nations all over the world.”
Also see original report by Joshua Hill and photo above at https://cleantechnica.com/2017/12/13/caribbean-leaders-launch-ambitious-climate-smart-zone-one-planet-summit/