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Launch of the first Caribbean Regional Energy Efficiency Pilot Financing Facility

 

“Belize to launch the Caribbean’s first Energy Efficiency Financing Facility under the Energy for Sustainable Development in Caribbean Buildings (ESD) Project”

PRESS RELEASE – Belmopan, Belize; October 17, 2017 – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC/5Cs) and the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) are scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Agreement launching the first Caribbean Regional Energy Efficiency Pilot Financing Facility for investments in Energy Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy (RE). The event is scheduled for Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at 10:00 a.m., at the CCCCC Training Room, Lawrence Nicholas Building, Ring Road, Belmopan, Belize.

The new EE Financing Facility was made possible with a grant of USD 200,000 under the Global Environment Facility-United Nations Environment Programme (GEF-UNEP) Energy for Sustainable Development in Caribbean Buildings (ESD) Project, with co-financing of USD 800,000 from the DFC. The pilot financing facility is intended to provide the foundation for the development of a self-sustaining financing window within the DFC to facilitate increased investments in EE and RE.  The work was jointly spearheaded by the DFC, the CCCCC/5Cs and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), with assistance from the GEF and UNEP, in developing innovative sustainable energy solutions that benefit the country and people of Belize.

It is recognized that globally, buildings account for over a third of total energy use and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; typically, 10 to 20 percent (depending on building type) of the total life‑cycle energy consumed is used for the manufacturing and assembly of building materials, construction, maintenance, refurbishment and demolition. Some 80 to 90 percent is used over the life of the building for heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation, house appliances, etc. In Belize, for example, the buildings sector (commercial, domestic, and institutional) is the largest consumer of electricity and accounts for more than 90 percent of total electricity consumption. It is therefore, the largest source of GHG emission after the transportation sector.  The Project aims to achieve a minimum reduction of 20 percent in electricity use in the pilot activities that are to take place during 2014 – 2018.

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 MEDIA ADVISORY 

WHO:

  • Hon. Frank Mena, Minister of State, Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, Public Service, Energy & Public Utilities
  • Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE, Executive Director, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
  • Ms. Natalie Goff, General Manager, Development Finance Corporation

WHAT:          OFFICIAL SIGNING CEREMONY: GEF-UNEP ESD PROJECT “BELIZE ENERGY EFFICIENCY PILOT FINANCING FACILITY”

 WHEN:          Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 10:00 a.m.

 WHERE:   Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Lawrence Nicholas Building, Ring Road, Belmopan, Belize

BACKGROUND:

The Energy for Sustainable Development in Caribbean Buildings (ESD) Project represents the first regional project that is piloting energy efficiency improvements in the economy of member states in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Buildings are identified to be the major consumers of electricity across the region, as a result, the Project focuses on the building sector for improving the efficiency of energy use.

Peruse the official Background Note – Blended Grant Loan Finance Mechanism – ESD Project (2013)

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The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre coordinates the region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre is the key node for information on climate change issues and the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change. We maintain the Caribbean’s most extensive repository of information and data on climate change specific to the region, which in part enables us to provide climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to CARICOM member states through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Programme, and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. The Centre is also a United Nations Institute for Training and Research recognised Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few. Learn more about how we’re working to make the Caribbean more climate resilient by perusing The Implementation Plan.

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CDB approves US$306 million in loans, grants in 2016

warren_smith9.jpg

CDB President, Dr William Warren Smith

In 2016, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved US$306 million in loans and grants, the highest approval total during the past five years. And of the countries for which funding was approved, Belize, Saint Lucia and Suriname were the three largest beneficiaries of loans.

Dr William Warren Smith, CDB president, made this announcement during the bank’s annual news conference on Friday, February 17, in Barbados.

Smith pointed out that, in addition to the grants approved in 2016, the Bank began implementing the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UK CIF). UK CIF is a £300 million grant programme for transformational infrastructure projects in eight Caribbean countries and one British overseas territory, which CDB administers. £16.4 million in grants was approved for projects and technical assistance in Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica and Grenada.

“We reached noteworthy milestones in deepening our strategic partnerships and successfully mobilising financial resources that our BMCs can use to craft appropriate responses to their development challenges,” said Smith, noting that UK CIF was among the bank’s partnership highlights in 2016.

Last year, the bank also signed a credit facility agreement with Agence Française de Développement. It included a US$33 million loan to support sustainable infrastructure projects and a EUR3 million grant to fund feasibility studies for projects eligible for financing under the credit facility.

Also in 2016, CDB entered an arrangement with the government of Canada for the establishment and administration of a CA$5 million fund to build capacity in the energy sector, the Canadian Support to the Energy Sector in the Caribbean Fund.

These recent partnerships are part of the bank’s drive to raise appropriately-priced resources mainly for financing projects with a strong focus on climate adaptation, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

During his statement, Smith highlighted that the bank became an accredited partner institution of both the Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund in 2016.

“The Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund have opened new gateways to much-needed grant and or low-cost financing to address climate change vulnerabilities in all of our BMCs,” Smith told the media.

The president also confirmed that, in 2016, CDB completed negotiations for the replenishment of the Special Development Fund (SDF), the bank’s largest pool of concessionary funds. Contributors agreed to an overall programme of US$355 million for the period 2017-2020, and lowered the SDF interest rate from a range of 2 to 2.5 percent to 1 percent. The programme approved includes US$45 million for Haiti and US$40 million for the Basic Needs Trust Fund. This marked the ninth replenishment of the SDF, which helps meet the Caribbean region’s high-priority development needs.

In his statement, Smith also reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to drive sustained and inclusive income growth, complemented by improvements in living standards in its BMCs. This, he said, was critical, as economic growth across the region remains uneven, with fragile recovery expected to continue into 2017.

“At the core of our operations is the desire to better the lives of Caribbean people. That is the context within which we help to design, appraise and evaluate every project we finance,” Smith said.

Credit: Caribbean News Now!

27 persons seeking a spot on BVI’s Climate Change Trust Fund Board

Dr Kedrick Pickering. File photo

Dr Kedrick Pickering. File photo

Residents now have the opportunity to give their assessment of 27 persons who are seeking to sit on the Climate Change Trust Fund Board of the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

The Trust Fund is a newly established and independent scheme aimed at raising money to tackle the territory’s climate change-related issues, by increasing energy efficiency and utilizing alternative energies.

After residents give their feedback on the applicants by September 16 this year, nine persons will be chosen to sit on the Board.

The selection will be done by Premier Dr D Orlando Smith and Dr Kedrick Pickering who is the minister of natural resources and labour.

Ronald Smith-Berkeley

Ronald Smith-Berkeley added that persons should submit their comments in a hardcopy letter addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour. Comments may also be emailed to climatechangebvi@gov.vg.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources Ronald Smith-Berkeley, in the meantime, said he is happy with the quality and quantity of the persons who have applied to become members of the Board.

“I am pleased with the number and calibre of persons who took up this noble challenge, and have offered themselves to serve on this important Board. The success of the Trust Fund rests heavily on the ability and commitment of its Board, and I wish to thank all those participating in the process.”

The nine-member board, which will include six representatives from the private sector and civil society, will have executive control and management of the affairs of the Climate Change Trust Fund. They will make final decisions on all applications for funding.

The BVI is the first Caribbean island to pass legislation for the establishment of a Climate Change Trust Fund.

The Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund Act took effect on January 1 this year.

Below is a list of the persons seeking to become members of the aforementioned Board.

  1. Benedict Bamford – Tourism;  Individual
  2. Douglas Riegels – Tourism
  3. John Klein – Tourism, Any other sectortor
  4. Monique Adams – Financial Services
  5. Nelson Samuel – Financial Services
  6. Pauline Robinson – Financial Services
  7. Shelly Bend – Financial Services, Individual
  8. Chezley Stoddard – Any other sector/NGO  or CBO
  9. Edward Childs – Any other sector
  10. Mitsy Simpson – Any other sector
  11. Ronnie Lettsome – Any other sector, Individual
  12. Stephanie Faulker Williams – Any other sector, Individual
  13. Eva Baskin ­– Academia or research organisation
  14. Dr Karl Dawson – Academia or research organisation
  15. Charlotte McDevitt – NGO
  16. Sarah Smith – NGO
  17. Shannon Gore – NGO
  18. Akilah Anderson – Individual
  19. Colin Bramble – Individual
  20. Dominic Clyde-Smith – Individual
  21. John Lewis – Individual
  22. Karen Fraser – Individual
  23. Lionel Penn II – Individual
  24. Michael Fonseca ­– Individual
  25. Rosemary Delaney-Smith – Individual
  26. Saski Laing – Individual
  27. Susan Babson – Individual
Credit: BVI News

The Decade of Sustainable Energy and the Post 2015 Development Agenda

Children using solar lamp to study in a remote village Credit: CARICOM Newsletter

Children using solar lamp to study in a remote village
Credit: CARICOM Newsletter

Decade of Sustainable Energy for All: We have now entered the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, 2014 – 2024, which was established by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly in December 2012. Inter alia, the resolution highlights the goals of increased energy access, renewable energy (RE) usage and energy efficiency (EE). The focus of the resolution recognises that sustainable development is not possible without sustainable energy (SE), as well as, the reality that one in every five persons on the planet still lacks access to electricity, while one in every three does not have access to clean cooking fuel.

SE provides new opportunities: children can study after dark, clinics can store life-saving vaccines, etc. Additionally, it enables businesses to grow, generates jobs and creates new markets, thereby fostering growth in countries through more resilient and competitive economies.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the launch of the SE4ALL Initiative, stated that “With Sustainable Energy, countries can leapfrog over the limits of the energy systems of the past and build the clean energy economies of the future.”

Many of these potential benefits are relevant to most CARICOM Member States, where the energy challenge has been established as a major binding constraint to achieving economic competitiveness, growth and overall economic resilience. The goals of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative are relevant to CARICOM, because:

  • The issue of lack of access is particularly relevant to some Member States; and
  • The main solution to the overarching energy sector challenges of the lack of affordability and\ the over-dependence on imported oil (characteristic of most CARICOM countries), lies in the increased diversification of their energy supplies with RE playing a major role, along with EE.

It is therefore considered useful for CARICOM to seek to be engaged with the developments in the context of the UN Decade of SE4ALL, given the potential support for SE development through this Platform.

Read more here.

Credit: CARICOM Energy Programme

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