An initiative by Caricom Chairman and Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell for a Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition was the most prominent spot at the One Planet Summit which ended in Paris, France on Tuesday.
The initiative, which has so far mobilised $4 billion within 2 months, is scheduled to be rolled out across the Caribbean in the New Year.
The initiative, aimed at making the Caribbean the World’s first Climate Smart Zone, was launched in Paris on Tuesday.
“Given what we experienced in the region this year and also with Hurricane Ivan in 2004, it was imperative to move swiftly to bring solutions for our Caribbean people, including the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique,” remarked Prime Minister Mitchell, also chair of the World Small States.
“Working with Prime Minister Chastanet Chair of the OECS and other Caribbean leaders and institutions, we have been pleased with the tremendous international response to this Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition.”
Eleven Caribbean Nations and territories together with some 30 international institutions and private sector organisations have combined their efforts to mobilise the initial $4 billion.
The Climate Smart Coalition follows a season of unprecedented hurricanes for the Caribbean region leading to tremendous losses for the people and nations of the Caribbean.
“Our thanks go to the many Caribbean leaders who have joined this effort and also to French President Macron for giving us centre stage. Sir Richard Branson and his team deserve special thanks for rallying the private sector,” Prime Minister Mitchell said.
“Our perennial partners, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and UNDP have also played key roles as core partners of this initiative. We anticipate starting implementation across the Caribbean in the New Year, while there is ongoing emergency work already being carried out in the affected countries.”
The Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition, aimed at 3.2 million Caribbean households, is targeting rapid implementation of a US$8 billion climate investment plan to transform regional energy system, build resiliency and drive economic growth.
“Despite the immense human suffering and economic damage caused by the recent hurricanes, the people of the Caribbean do not want to be just passive victims of climate change,” said Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
“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.”
The initiative is supported by organisations like the Inter-American Development Bank Group, the World Bank Group and the Caribbean Development Bank.
“I am pleased by the level of support from our coalition partners and others,” said St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet. “But I am excited about the possibility for the Caribbean to incubate new powerful ideas, and accelerate their implementation.”