(PRESS RELEASE) – Today, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) became the 34th Member of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) after formally submitting its Instrument of Accession. The OECS is also the first regional integration organisation to become a member of GGGI.
Since the establishment of the GGGI Caribbean office in 2019, located within OECS Commission headquarters in Saint Lucia, the two entities have worked together to pursue a joint programme of activities in support of capacity building and development of green growth options in OECS countries.
The joint programme includes activities at both the regional and national levels to support the small island countries in the Eastern Caribbean transition their economies toward low-carbon, climate-resilient sustainable growth.
Because the OECS is a regional organisation, membership in GGGI means that the OECS Commission, as well as the OECS Member States, will have access to GGGI membership benefits. GGGI is already working with the OECS Commission, as well as directly with the governments of OECS Member States, to support the transition to more sustainable energy systems and accelerate the flow of climate finance in the region.
“GGGI is delighted to welcome the OECS as its newest member and looks forward to working together to accelerate the process of resource mobilisation for green growth initiatives in the OECS Member States.”
“The membership of the OECS into GGGI takes this collaborative effort one step further to expand on their support for the Caribbean region,” said Dr. Frank Rijsberman, Director General of GGGI.
Director General of the OECS, Dr. Didacus Jules, wholeheartedly welcomed the opportunity to bring the unique integration movement that is the OECS to the GGGI, noting that this is the first time that a regional organisation has joined the pioneering institution.
“We are a unique integration project because six of our Member States are independent and six are non-independent, with three of these being French territories.”
“In common with many Small Island Developing States, we are at the frontline of climate change disasters and we bear the brunt of the escalating devastation from sudden onslaught climatic events, such as coastal erosion and sea level rise, marine pollution and every other manifestation of a planet in terminal crisis.”
“We have become members of the GGGI because we need to have our voices heard in every significant global forum and we are extending the hand of solidarity and common purpose to everyone who understands the urgency of a new development paradigm that is green, blue, inclusive and regenerative.”
Dr. Kristin Deason, GGGI’s Caribbean Representative added that
“OECS’s accession as a member of GGGI showcases the importance that Eastern Caribbean countries are placing on sustainability, resilience, and green growth. It is clear that the OECS Member States are serious about transforming their energy sectors into more sustainable, resilient systems, and we are excited to help support that transition.”
The threats of the climate emergency have severely affected Caribbean states with rising sea levels, destruction of the local environment, food insecurity due to lower yields in agriculture production, and strengthened natural disasters such as hurricanes and tropical storms. Given the severity of these issues, the combined work of the OECS Commission and GGGI helps to identify and develop projects that support countries with the adoption of green growth policies, gaining access to climate finance, and promoting sustainability in the region, particularly in the areas of renewable energy and sustainable transportation.
One of the first events to come out of the organisations’ collaboration was the Virtual Island Summit, an all-online event bringing together experts from the Caribbean and Pacific to share information on sustainable practices and discuss the most pressing issues for island communities worldwide. As part of the event, a joint panel provided the opportunity to explore initiatives in both regions that support implementation and enhancement of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Climate Agreement.
Also, in 2019, OECS and GGGI worked jointly to review insurance mechanisms for solar PV installations, and to investigate incorporating standards for rooftop PV into the OECS building code. Currently, both organisations are working with the governments of Saint Lucia, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Commonwealth of Dominica to implement and enhance their NDCs and increase climate financing.
“As GGGI’s very first regional member, OECS is paving the way with a new program format at GGGI, and I look forward to seeing our joint programme develop into a strong example of regional coordination and support for green growth,” explained Dr. Kristin Deason, GGGI’s Caribbean Representative.
To get updates on the joint OECS/GGGI programme, follow @GGGICaribbean on Twitter and GGGI Caribbean on Facebook.