Caribbean leaders attending the One Planet Summit in Paris on Tuesday 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 Aim is “to find a way to break through the systemic obstacles that stop finance flowing to climate-smart investments” and help generate investments of $8 billion to support the development of greater energy and infrastructure resilience to 3.2 million Caribbean households which, as a result, would dramatically reduce the Islands’ dependence on fossil fuels, and turn to generating 100% of their energy needs from renewable energy sources. The Coalition hopes to harness an 8 GW (gigawatt) potential of renewable energy to account for almost 100% of their energy needs.
Specifically, the Coalition’s will focus on catalyzing four initial critical priorities:
- Scale renewable energy as rapidly as possible to help free Caribbean countries from the high cost of imported fossil fuels and the high vulnerability of centralized distribution systems.
- Build low-carbon and resilient infrastructure including nature-based approaches, to better withstand future extreme weather events.
- Create 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. Build platforms to help facilitate the large public and private investments required.
- Strengthen the capacity of Caribbean countries and key regional institutions to plan for long-term resilience and climate-smart growth strategies.
Announced at the One Planet Summit held in Paris on Tuesday by French President Emmanuel Macron, the Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition brings together Caribbean leaders and a coalition of global organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, and the Caribbean Development Bank, as well as businesses and supporters from the Caribbean and the international community. The Charter of the Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition was signed by the following: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.
“Caribbean leaders have come together as a powerful collective to build a better future for the people of the Caribbean,” said Prime Minister Keith Mitchell of Grenada, Chair of CARICOM (Caribbean Community).
“We welcome the financial commitments from our partners – around $1.3 billion for recovery efforts and $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.”
To help generate further investment, the Coalition has formed a Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator with an estimated budget of $6-10 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 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,” explained Luis Alberto Moreno, Inter-American Development Bank Group President. “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.”
“The Caribbean is in the ‘eye of the storm’ and we need coordinated international support to rebuild and better plan for the future,” added Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President. “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.”
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