Fletcher confident climate change partnership will benefit Saint Lucia

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Former US President Bill Clinton.

PRESS RELEASE – “The Government of Saint Lucia welcomes the partnership of Clinton Climate Initiative and Rocky Mountain Institute-Carbon War Room.” So said Dr. James Fletcher, the island’s Minister of Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology of Saint Lucia.

The minister was speaking in New York on Thursday, during a special meeting announcing new Clinton Foundation Climate Change initiatives for small island states in the Caribbean and around the world.

He said, “Both organizations have provided meaningful contributions to our country’s energy transition.

“We are confident their partnership will further accelerate our efforts and the efforts of other island-governments towards a prosperous energy future.”

The Saint Lucia minister had reason to offer thanks and praise.

The Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) — an initiative of the Clinton Foundation — on Thursday announced its official partnership with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and Carbon War Room (CWR) to promote a transition to renewable energy and energy-efficiency solutions in the Caribbean region.

The partnership combines the work of the non-profit organization’s complementary initiatives: the Resilient Communities Program of the Clinton Climate Initiative and the joint Ten-Island Challenge of Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room.

Over the past two years, CCI has prepared over 20 renewable energy projects across nine island countries (including Saint Lucia), facilitating the groundbreaking of the 24-megawatt Wigton Wind Farm in Jamaica and working with the UN Development Programme to establish a 1.3-megawatt solar rebate program in the Seychelles.

Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room’s Ten Island Challenge currently includes: Aruba, the Bahamas, Colombia (Providencia and San Andrés islands), Grenada, Saint Lucia and the Turks & Caicos Islands, with four more countries expected to join the Ten Island Challenge later this year.

Over the past year, Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room have developed a Caribbean-specific, comprehensive hospital-retrofit guide and corresponding web tool; launched a request for qualifications for a waste-to-energy plant in Saint Lucia; and launched a request for proposals to deploy solar-powered, off-grid, LED street lights in Providencia and San Andrés.

CCI, RMI and CWR focus on removing economic and other market barriers standing in the way of reducing the Caribbean’s dependence on diesel and scale investment in energy-efficiency and renewable-energy solutions.

The partnership will: ‘Work in select Caribbean islands to develop energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects’; ‘identify project-financing and investment opportunities that will bring needed capital to the region’; and ‘develop best practices and potential for collaboration between countries to support current and future work in island regions.’

In the near term, CCI, RMI and CWR will work to develop and advance a hospital energy-efficiency retrofit and a LED street-lighting program in participating Caribbean countries, plus over 15 utility-scale solar, wind and geothermal projects.

“The world has a moral imperative to save island nations from disappearing or suffering irreversible damage and an economic imperative to reduce their reliance on costly imported fossil fuels and build climate resilience to avoid catastrophic disasters,” said President Clinton.

“Working in partnership with Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room, the Clinton Climate Initiative is bringing governments, businesses, and financial backers together to help design, implement, and scale up clean energy projects across the Caribbean and around the world.”

“With the combined experience and expertise of RMI, CWR and the Clinton Climate Initiative, we can more rapidly unlock the challenges island nations face in transitioning to a clean energy future,” said RMI Cofounder, Chief Scientist and Chairman Emeritus Amory Lovins.

Working in partnership, the organizations will coordinate efforts to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in Caribbean island-nations and leverage their respective resources and expertise to increase impact.

CCI, RMI and CWR will disseminate a comprehensive best-practices playbook that will provide clear guidance, steps and helpful tools for the development and execution of an island’s renewable-energy vision.

Participating Caribbean countries will collectively contribute to the development of a renewable-energy blueprint that is replicable and scalable for other isolated economies around the world.

CCI’s Resilient Communities Program, which evolved from CCI’s Islands Diesel Replacement Program, has partnered with governments of 25 island nations across three continents.

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