Caribbean countries are being urged to make the shift away from fossil fuels towards renewable sources of energy.
While the Caribbean is not a big contributor to global gas emissions and the associated problem of climate change, the debilitating effects of this global phenomenon is felt across the region almost daily with cooler nights and warmer days.
President of the Caribbean Development Bank Dr. Warren Smith says the region stands to benefit tremendously from investments in renewable energy.
“As a Caribbean we certainly suffer from the fact that we are very heavily exposed to fossil fuels and the impact is that given the prices of fossil fuels relative to other fuels, it affects the competitiveness of Caribbean industry and our place in the international economy. So there is an imperative to try to shift as much as possible our production base away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and one of the incentives for doing so is that as Climate Resources become available they can also be used to finance this transformation away from fossil fuels to renewable sources.”
The Caribbean Development Bank has launched a vigorous drive to build its internal capacity and that of its Borrowing Member Countries to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
The bank’s president says an effective response to climate change is vital to the economic well- being of the region.
“Projected economic losses are 5 percent of GDP by 2025 and 10 percent of GDP by 2050; resource mobilisation is where the rubber hits the road because if we don’t get the necessary resources we will not be able to effectively address climate change. We have been positioning the CDB as the regional financial intermediary for international climate finance as well as an executing agency and so people with money who want to carry out climate adaptation initiatives can work through the Caribbean Development Bank using our capacity.”
The bank has to date engaged the services of a consultant responsible for negotiating and securing international climate finance on behalf of the institution and its Borrowing Member Countries.
The president says technical and financial support will be provided to countries that show a commitment to addressing climate change.