Extreme weather events (often associated with climate change) have caused significant damage to the region. For example, Hurricane Ivan in Grenada wiped out approximately 200 percent of her GDP in 2004. Similarly, a one in 100-year flood in Guyana in 2005 wiped out more than 60 percent of that country’s GDP in that year, moving it from a positive growth position to a negative real growth ~ Dr. Ulric Trotz, deputy director and science adviser of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
Caribbean governments have begun taking a more proactive approach to promoting the development of renewable energy (RE), establishing an Energy Unit at the CARICOM Secretariat which works in conjunction with the Centre.
Dr. Trotz said promoting renewable energy is important:
By diverting costs away from the importation of fossil fuels, [Caribbean] countries will have additional resources from the savings to put towards building resilience to the impacts of Climate Change and Climate Vulnerability. It is not just the conversion to renewable energy but energy efficiency [that the region is focusing on]. [So] Pooling RE projects across the region might have a catalytic effect of encouraging investment as this may significantly lower transaction costs and make investment more attractive.
The region has also sought the assistance of European Union partners, and launched the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme with the major objective of strengthening the ability of Caribbean countries to mobilise investors to make the shift from conventional energy investment to renewable energy investment.
According to Thomas Scheutzlich, principal advisor of the Caribbean Renewable Energy Program (CREDP) since 2003, lack of an enabling legal policy framework and lack of well-defined bankable project proposals have been major barriers to the development of RE projects in the Caribbean region.
Scheutzlich has overall responsibility for implementation of the CREDP programme on behalf of the German consultancy company Projekt-Consult GmbH, which is charged by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) with the implementation of CREDP. Germany is responsible for 80 percent of CREDP’s funding.
Read more via IPS News Net.