Recent hurricanes have left unprecedented devastation across the Caribbean and it is a traumatic time for all those who live in the region. Alongside the on-going emergency response, Caribbean leaders have announced the launch of a new public-private coalition to create the world’s first “climate-smart zone”.
The Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition aims to find a way to break through the systemic obstacles that stop finance flowing to climate-smart investments. This would help Caribbean islands to eliminate their costly dependency on fossil fuels so that they can meet close to 100% percent of their energy needs from renewable sources, and to embed resilience into communities and livelihoods to realise the bold ambitions of all Caribbean people.
The announcement came at the One Planet Summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris to review progress made on the Paris Agreement. The Coalition aims to reinvigorate the islands that have been impacted by recent hurricanes Irma and Maria, and help build more resilient infrastructure and communities across the region as the likelihood of future extreme weather events increases. Specifically, the Coalition’s work will focus on catalyzing four initial critical priorities: Scale renewable energy as rapidly as possible to help free Caribbean countries from the high cost of imported fossil fuels and the high vulnerability of centralised distribution systems. Build low-carbon and resilient infrastructure including nature-based approaches, to better withstand future extreme weather events.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, said: “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. Rather, 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.”
This is an excerpt from an article first published at Dominica News Online. Read the full article here.