Ministers host high level meeting to get private sector on board Grenada’s climate resilient pathway

Participants at the breakfast meeting

Representatives from the private sector were convened Wednesday, 6 June at the Radisson hotel to a high level breakfast meeting under the auspices of Honourable Simon Stiell, Minister for Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information and Honourable Oliver Joseph, Minister for Trade, Industry, Co-operatives & Caricom Affairs.

Held under the theme “Government and Private Sector seizing the momentum on climate finance”, the breakfast meeting marks the starting point for a closer cooperation between public and private stakeholders in Grenada when it comes to accessing international funds designated for climate action. In his opening remarks, Minister Stiell highlighted that “Grenada is presented with a window of opportunity to raise finance for its climate change adaptation efforts but it is uncertain how long this window will remain open so all sectors have to work together to build up to the condition to access these funds.”

Major sectors of industry had a chance to be represented with stakeholders ranging from The Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA), Grenada Development Bank (GDB), Grenada Chamber of Industry & Commerce (GCIC), Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC), National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA), the media, Grenada Organic Agriculture Movement (GOAM) and Quinn Co for the construction sector.

During the discussion, the various actors shared their sector’s climate change adaptation needs, the efforts that they are already putting in place but also the challenges that they are facing to do more. Petipha Lewis-Smith, Executive Director of the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce and Che Keens-Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Investment Development Corporation shared the sentiment that while there would be a willingness from the private sector to invest in climate resilience, access to finance for non-productive assets, such as rainwater harvesting systems, is a challenge for businesses in Grenada. Keens-Douglas carried on to highlight that a combination of stricter regulations and more incentives for investments that support Grenada’s climate resilience objectives would give the country more control over the private sector’s focus on a sustainable future for Grenada. These ideas were supported by Lotten Haagman, Director of the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) and Mike Quinn, Managing Director of Quinn Company Ltd. While Haagman admitted that the hotels and supermarkets are Grenada’s biggest producers of waste, she underscored that the GHTA has been lobbying for a styrofoam and single-use plastic ban, while Quinn called for an upgrade of the building sector’s regulations and provision of guidelines going beyond hurricane proofing, and towards water and energy conservation.

Other members of who attended the breakfast such as Christopher Husbands, General Manager at the National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) seconded that water conservation is already a major concern for Grenada’s sustainable future. He further intimated that the country already secured a US$50 million grant for a water project that will see an improvement of its reservoirs and water management. However, a lot more will be needed, in particular investment in wastewater treatment and reuse which are yet to be addressed.

Dr Dunstan Campbell, President of the Grenada Organic Agriculture Movement (GOAM) expressed concerns for the future of agriculture and asked particularly for mechanisms to protect farmers from the impact of disasters such as hurricanes which can affect their production for several years. He also highlighted that access to finance as his sector’s single biggest challenge to transit toward Climate Smart Agriculture. As an answer to the access to finance challenge raised by several actors, Mervyn Lord, Managing Director of the Grenada Development Bank (GDB) informed that it was the role of a development bank to finance the country’s sustainable future and that they are working on developing more climate resilience financial products to offer to the private sector.

To conclude, Minister Joseph noted that access to grant funding remains a focus for the government and that the process of obtaining these grants includes robust stakeholder’s consultations leading to the drafting of national strategies and to the necessary regulations, he further highlighted the role of the Department of Economic and Technical Cooperation under the leadership of Ruel Edwards as being extremely critical if government would be able to secure increase amounts in grant funding.

This breakfast meeting was organised as part of inception mission conducted this week by consulting firms Climate Analytics and Charles and Associates under the Getting Grenada Green Climate Fund Ready (3G) project. This mission has 4 overarching objectives to establish initial contact with key stakeholders within Grenada and to assess the current status of the National Designated Authority’s (NDA) readiness in keeping with the prescribed role of the NDA under the Green Climate Fund (GCF) requirements. It was followed by consultation with the Climate Change Focal Points from different ministries, government departments and NGOs.

The 3G project is co-funded by the Green Climate Fund and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Grenadian Ministry of Finance, Planning, Economic Development & Physical Development partners with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Ministry of Finance

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