The fight against climate change in eight Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states is to receive support from a US$15 million fund from Japan.
Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname will benefit from the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership Project, which was officially launched this morning at the Radisson Aquatica Resort following a two-day meeting with more than 40 representatives.
The new project will help to put in practice the countries’ actions and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to climate change.
The initiative which was agreed in July, 2014, following a meeting between the prime minister of Japan and CARICOM Heads of Government, will also assist in boosting access to sustainable energy and a reduction in fossil fuel imports.
Having commenced in May of last year, the project is scheduled to run until December, 2017.
While Japan provides the funding, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will implement the project.
UNDP Resident Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Stephen O’Malley noted that the Caribbean played a key role in the decision reached at last year’s Paris Agreement On Climate Change, where 195 world leaders pledged to keep global warming to below two degrees Celsius.
“The Caribbean played a major part in this agreement and the 1.5 To Stay Alive campaign was taken up by states from across the world. UNDP has been pleased to support the region’s efforts over the last decade, particularly on modelling climate impacts, loss and damage and capacity development for negotiators,” O’Malley said.
“We are very happy to be getting this new project off the ground in which the UNDP is partnering with the government of Japan to champion policy innovation for climate technology incubation and diffusion in the region.
“By doing so, this project aims to ensure that barriers to the implementation of climate-resilient technologies are addressed and overcome in a participatory and efficient manner.”
Permanent Secretary in Dominica’s Ministry of Planning, Economic Development and Investment Gloria Joseph hailed the project, saying it had come at
a “critical time”.
Only last August, Dominica suffered a major blow from Tropical Storm Erika, which caused US$483 million in damage.
“This partnership comes at a critical time in our nation’s sustainable development programme. Dominica has experienced first-hand the devastating and crippling effect that climate change can have on a nation’s people, their livelihoods and economy . . . ,” she pointed out.
“Dominica stands ready, and welcomes the opportunity to benefit from early response warning systems, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction measures, as it seeks to restore and build back better.”