The Caribbean Development Bank has as high priority climate change, said President Warren Smith.
From tourism-dependent nations like Barbados to those rich with natural resources like Guyana, climate change poses one of the biggest challenges for the countries of the Caribbean.
Nearly all of these countries are vulnerable to natural events like hurricanes.
Not surprisingly, the climate change threat facing the countries of the Caribbean has not gone unnoticed by the region’s premier financial institution, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
‘We are giving high priority to redressing the fallout from climate change,’ the bank’s president, Dr. Warren Smith, told journalists at a press conference here recently.
‘This is an inescapable reality, and we have made it our business to put in place the financial resources necessary to redress the effects of sea-level rise and more dangerous hurricanes,’ he added.
CDB has also tapped new funding for renewable energy and for energy efficiency.
For the first time, the bank has accessed a 33-million-dollar credit facility from Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to support sustainable infrastructure projects in select Caribbean countries, and a 3 million euro grant to finance feasibility studies for projects eligible for financing under the credit facility.
‘At least 50 percent of those funds will be used for climate adaptation and mitigation projects,’ Smith explained.
‘We persuaded the government of Canada to provide financing for a CAD 5 million Canadian Support to the Energy Sector in the Caribbean Fund, which will be administered by the CDB. This money will help to build capacity in the energy sector over the period 2016 to 2019,’ he revealed.
In February, CBD also became an accredited partner institution of the Adaptation Fund, and in October 2016, the bank achieved the distinction of accreditation to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).