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USD33 mn to Finance Climate Change Resilient Infrastructure in the Caribbean

Officials from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) have signed an agreement to provide USD33,000,000 towards financing sustainable infrastructure projects in the Caribbean region. At least 50 percent of the funds will be used to fund climate change adaptation and mitigation projects.

The agreement was signed last month at the CDB Headquarters in Barbados, by French Ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Barbados, Eric de la Moussaye, in the presence of CDB Vice-President (Operations), Patricia McKenzie.

Patricia McKenzie, CDB Vice-President, Operations and Eric de la Moussaye, French Ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Barbados, sign the Credit Facility Agreement.

Patricia McKenzie, CDB Vice-President, Operations and Eric de la Moussaye, French Ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Barbados, sign the Credit Facility Agreement.

Caribbean countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with our geographical location leading to high exposure to natural hazards. Economic conditions also play a role, as there is a lack of access to long-term resources to finance sustainable climate-related infrastructure projects. We believe that these additional funds will go a long way towards building resilience and mitigating the impact of climate change in our region,” said Mrs. McKenzie.

The funds are being provided by AFD under a Credit Facility Agreement with CDB. AFD is the primary agency through which the Government of France provides funding for sustainable development projects. This marks the first time that CDB has accessed financing from AFD.

The Facility will be used by CDB to augment financing for infrastructure projects in several areas: renewable energy, water and sanitation, waste management, adaptation of infrastructure to the effects of climate change, protection of coasts and rivers. Countries that are eligible to benefit from this facility are: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname. The Facility is also complemented by a EUR3,000,000 technical assistance grant, which will finance feasibility studies for projects eligible for financing under the credit facility.

The agreement supports the improvement of Caribbean economies’ resilience and vitality through the development of sustainable infrastructure projects with significant environmental or climate impacts. It is in alignment with the Bank’s corporate priority of promoting environmental sustainability.

Credit: CDB

Adaptation Fund Accredits CDB

 

 

Caribbean_Development_Bank_Adaptation_Fund_accreditation

Bank can now tap Fund to address climate change concerns

Bridgetown, Barbados, March 17, 2016:

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) can now better access funds to address climate change and mitigate the impact on Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) after the Board of the Adaptation Fund announced on March 1 that accreditation has been granted to the regional development funding agency.

“CDB’s accreditation opens gateways to well-needed grant financing which will enable our Borrowing Member Countries to proactively address life threatening vulnerabilities,” said Dr. Warren Smith, president of the CDB.

           A major pillar of CDB’s Climate Resilience Strategy is that of helping BMCs access concessionary resources to provide financing to support urgent actions required to build climate resilience.  According to Dr. Smith, “accreditation to the AF is an extremely positive achievement, since it gives the Bank access to a source of grant resources to help to support urgent climate resilient investments for some of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world.”

The Adaptation Fund was established in 2001 under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The AF works across seven areas: Agriculture, Coastal Zone Management, food security, disaster risk reduction, multi-sector projects, rural development and water management. The Fund has committed US$ 331 million in 54 countries since 2010 to climate adaptation and resilience activities.

CDB’s current Strategic Plan has building resilience to climate change as its principal thrust. This emphasis recognizes the reality that there is a probability that at least one Caribbean country has a 25 per cent chance of being hit by a major climate event every year.

To achieve accreditation CDB had to demonstrate that it has the capacity to manage and provide oversight of the use of AF’s resources in an efficient, effective and transparent manner.  Accreditation is valid for five years.

            Dr. Smith noted that CDB’s recent experience in preparing climate action investment projects, showed that preparation costs could increase by between 10-15%, because of the required supporting technical investigations or studies; such as climate vulnerability assessments; that are required to demonstrate the explicit adaptive or mitigation measures employed to achieve climate resilience. He expects that the Bank will make its first formal submission to the AF before the end of the 2016.

Credit: Caribbean Development Bank

Caribbean energy experts recommend creation of new Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE)

SIDS Press release logos

The technical design and institutional set-up of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) was successfully validated by energy experts and specialists of CARICOM Member States in a regional workshop, held from 21 to 22 July 2014 in Roseau, Dominica. The event was co-organized by the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Sustainable Energy Initiative – SIDS DOCK, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, with financial support of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC).

The workshop follows-up on the official request of SIDS DOCK to UNIDO in August 2013, to assist the small island developing states in the Caribbean, Pacific, Indian Ocean and Africa, in the creation of a SIDS network of regional sustainable energy centres. With technical assistance from UNIDO, a consultative preparatory process for the Caribbean centre was launched in close coordination with the Energy Unit of the CARICOM Secretariat. The process included the development of a needs assessment and project document on the technical and institutional design of the centre. With the inputs received at the regional workshop, the needs assessment and the project document on the technical and institutional design of the centre will be finalized.

It was recommended to create CCREEE under the umbrella of the existing institutional framework of CARICOM. It was agreed to submit the final CCREEE project document for consideration by the next Ministerial Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) of CARICOM. It was suggested to launch a competitive selection process for the host country of the Secretariat of CCREEE.

Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, endorsed the establishment of the CCREEE, and announced Dominica’s interest in hosting the centre. “Dominica has the highest percentage of renewable energy (RE) in its energy mix among the Caribbean countries, therefore, Dominica would be the ideal location,” he said.  By 2017, Dominica will become the only Small Island Developing State to export electricity. A partnership between the Government of Dominica and a French Consortium will develop a geothermal power plant for export and subsea transmission lines to French neighbours – Guadeloupe to the north, and Martinique to the south.

Ambassador Vince Henderson, Permanent Representative of the Commonwealth of Dominica to the United Nations, and Chair of the SIDS DOCK Steering Committee, who spearheaded the initiative for the establishment of regional RE and EE centres, expressed gratitude on behalf of the small island developing states to the government of  for providing the funding for the establishment of the regional centres in the Pacific and the Caribbean and the support to African SIDS through the ECREEE. “The establishment of regional centres for RE and EE is one of the most progressive steps that UNIDO, SIDS DOCK and our governments can take towards the transitioning from fossil fuels to RE, and CCREEE will work with regional institutions, like the OECS, CARICOM, CREDP and CDB, to pool human and financial resources to transform the regional energy sector,” he noted.

Dr. Pradeep Monga, Director of the Energy and Climate Change Branch of UNIDO, said the importance of the regional energy centre is to boost inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Caribbean islands. “The centre will play an important role in empowering the local private sector and industry to take advantage of growing job and business opportunities in the sustainable energy sector,” Mr. Monga stressed.

The over 60 Caribbean experts and specialists, development and private sector partners in attendance recommended that the centre focuses particularly on policy implementation, capacity development, knowledge management, awareness raising and the creation of business opportunities for the local sustainable energy industry. The centre will act as a think-tank and hub for sustainable energy and will play a key role in creating economies of scale and a competitive sustainable energy market and business sector. It will address existing barriers and strengthen drivers through regional methodologies and tools. It will act as the central service provider for the development and implementation of SIDS DOCK and Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL) activities.

The centre will become part of UNIDO´s Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres. The SIDS centres will be announced as an innovative south-south partnership at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, scheduled to take place from 1 to 4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa.

Further information on the workshop is available at: http://www.ccreee.org

For more information:

Mr Al Binger, Energy Advisor, CARICOM Climate Change Centre, abinger@sidsdock.org

Mr Martin Lugmayr, Sustainable Energy Expert, UNIDO, m.lugmayr@unido.org

Three criteria the Green Climate Fund MUST meet for the Caribbean to benefit

Credit: CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food

Credit: CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food

President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr. Warren Smith says the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a new multilateral initiative, must achieve three short-term objectives if it is to be different, make a significant contribution to transforming Caribbean economies and create low carbon, climate-resilient societies in the region.

  • First, the Board of the Fund must complete before year-end, the design work necessary to ensure that the Fund becomes operational by 2014.
  • Second, given the global scale of the climate challenge, the GCF must be well resourced. In this regard, developed countries should, by the end of this year, make firm commitments towards resourcing the initial capitalisation of the GCF;
  • Third, this Fund must pay particular attention to the needs of those developing countries which are most vulnerable to climate change.

In underscoring the importance of this Fund, Dr. Smith said,

We, in the Caribbean, share the vision of the founders of this Fund, as enunciated in its Governing Instrument that, “given the urgency and seriousness of climate change …the Fund is to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change”

He continued…

To ensure that [developing] countries can access the Fund on equal terms, when it is fully operational, the Board must advance, in a meaningful manner, its work programme on climate finance readiness and preparatory support.

The  GCF Board members from Barbados and Zambia, representing the Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries constituencies, have called for the prioritisation of activities related to readiness and preparatory support during the design of the Fund, as developing countries in these groups have, traditionally, not accessed climate finance at levels commensurate with their high vulnerability to climate change.

Take, for example, the case of the Caribbean. Of the 694 national projects approved by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) under its climate change focal area between FY 1991 and FY 2013, only 33 national projects from CARICOM countries received support. This represents a mere USD24 million or less than 1% of the total USD2.5 billion grant financing provided by the GEF for national climate action. The amount allocated to the Caribbean must be seen in the context of a worsening of the climate change phenomenon and of economic losses in excess of USD1 billion in three Caribbean countries for 2012 alone.

This inability of Caribbean countries to access climate financing can be directly attributed to institutional constraints; to difficulty in identifying priorities and developing coherent investment programmes; and to serious deficiencies in capacity to effectively and efficiently implement projects and programmes.
It is extremely important to note that, in general, the burdensome criteria attached to accessing resources are often by themselves a deterrent to access.

The situation is complicated by the monitoring and reporting requirements to evaluate outcomes.
Therefore, if these countries and other countries with similar capacity constraints are to benefit from the GCF, it is crucial that focus is placed on “climate finance readiness” at the national, regional and international levels ~Dr. Warren Smith

Despite these challenges, Dr. Smith notes that there is consensus, at the highest political levels in the Caribbean, on the way forward.

Leaders have endorsed a Regional Climate Change Strategy and Implementation Plan to guide national and regional efforts towards building climate-resilient, low-carbon economies. This effort will require transformational change by national governments, regional organisations, civil society and the private sector, underpinned by an unprecedented level of financial resources and technical assistance. Within the context of the regional Implementation Plan, CDB has been assigned, and takes seriously, the role of spearheading the Region’s resource mobilisation efforts.

Dr. Smith says the region must boost  capacity (policy, institutional, expertise and accountability) and develop investment-ready, low-carbon climate-resilient projects and programmes to benefit from the GCF and other new flows of low-carbon, climate-resilient financing.

Dr. Smith was speaking at the launch of the Green Climate Fund Workshop on Climate Finance Readiness in Barbados on July 11, 2013. Read his speech here.

** The workshop was convened by CDB, in partnership with the Green Climate Fund and the Government of Germany through GIZ.

Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, also spoke at the workshop. See highlights of his speech here and/or review the actual speech here.

Also read: Dr. Ulric Trotz says the Caribbean lags in climate finance

5Cs and the Caribbean Development Bank Tackles Climate Finance

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has intensified its focus on the environment, and is now aiming to position itself as the regional intermediary for climate finance and execution.

The full extent of the work that needs to be done has not yet been mapped, but a pipeline of investment-ready capital projects capable of attracting available financing is currently being developed by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) for member states.

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