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Environmental Solutions Limited, a Caribbean consulting outfit focused on environmental management, published a strong review of Green Funds in the Caribbean and the opportunities for capacity development. An excerpt is below, read the full article at ESLCaribbean.
Concern about climate change and its many, far-reaching effects has propelled countries around the world to come up with novel ways to achieve socio-economic development without causing additional damage to the environment. One of the more recent solutions has been the establishment of various ‘green funds’ by countries and international aid and development agencies alike. According to Investopedia.com, a green fund is basically “a mutual fund or other investment vehicle that will only invest in companies that are deemed socially conscious in their business dealings or directly promote environmental responsibility. A green fund can come in the form of a focused investment vehicle for companies engaged in environmentally supportive businesses, such as alternative energy, green transport, water and waste management, and sustainable living.”
Here in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago leads the way with a well-established, well-financed Green Fund. The fund was first instituted under the Finance Act 2000 and is financed by a tax of 0.1 per cent of the gross sales or receipts of companies doing business in Trinidad and Tobago. The levy is payable quarterly. The purpose of the fund is “to provide financial assistance to community groups and organisations for activities related to reforestation, remediation, environmental education and public awareness of environmental issues and conservation of the environment.” Since its inception, the fund has successfully financed a number of certified activities totalling approximately TT$117 million. The value of the fund as at January 2012 was TT$2.7 billion.
The key stakeholders in the fund are members of the private sector, which pay the Green Fund Levy; the Ministry of Finance, the official custodian of the fund’s resources; the Ministry of Housing and the Environment, which provides certification Green Fund-supported activities; and civil society organisations that use the resources. The fund can be accessed by corporate companies, non-profits, NGOs and community groups by making the necessary application.
Read the full article here.