Nowhere in the world needs COP26 to deliver more than the Caribbean. As the effects of climate change accelerate, New Energy asked key figures from across the region to tell us what they hope for, and what the international community needs to do to support the bid for resilience and the energy transition in the Caribbean.
“We have to believe, then act, if we want to win this race. We have to find a way to solve this issue. As it relates to energy, we need to see more funding. However as much as the energy transition is important, there are cash flows associated with energy transition. Energy is one of the easier options to find funding solutions for, despite the lag in our energy transition.
“As much as the energy transition is important, there are cash flows associated with energy transition.”
Adaptation is where the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator would like to see the most attention being paid. The challenge continues to be cash flows. We’re protecting against future harm that is not specifically known. We’re projecting the considerable damage that we are likely to face. Figuring out how much to spend and where to start is incredibly daunting. We would like to see support to the region in funding adaptation and prioritizing that along with our energy transition.”
CEO, Caribbean Climate-Start Accelerator
“Out of COP26 we are hopeful for better access to technology customized for the SIDS. E-mobility, for example. SIDS do not have scale through the lens of car manufacturers and for this reason access to the market for propulsion battery replacement or affordable vehicles at source is a barrier.
Another example is Hydrogen which is becoming an energy carrier of choice. It will be more capital-intensive for the SIDS to deploy with no significant infrastructure in place to adopt this transition sooner than later. From COP we need better access to finance that supports the transition. Finance that is not loaded with condition precedents that for a climate race we must win, and win as one, globally. We need recognition and a mechanism for civil society to play a pivotal role in the transition.
“Hydrogen is becoming an energy carrier of choice. It will be more capital-intensive for the SIDS to deploy with no significant infrastructure in place to adopt this transition sooner than later.”
We need a robust mechanism for financial support to specialized regional institutions established by the SIDS Head of Government, so that they can provide effective and sustainable development support to the SIDS, leaving no-one behind. We need enhanced partnerships, locally, regional and globally; cooperation and coordination of our efforts to realize the transition.”
Executive Director, Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE)
“The GCF is already working to provide much-needed support in this area, for example FP020: Sustainable Energy Facility for the Eastern Caribbean Dominica, and SAP013: Scaling Smart, Solar, Energy Access Microgrids in Haiti. This shows the potential of what is possible.
“COP26 is a moment not only to take stock, but to think smartly about these interconnected challenges and above all, to take action.”
Our hope is that COP26 provides much-needed recognition that the energy transition in the Caribbean is about low-emissions but also energy security and energy access, against the backdrop of challenges such as extreme weather events and rising energy costs. COP26 is a moment not only to take stock, but to think smartly about these interconnected challenges and above all, to take action.”
Regional Manager – Caribbean, Green Climate Fund
“We fully expect the outcomes of COP26 to be supportive of energy transition in the Caribbean and beyond. At COP26 we will bring countries, development banks, investors and civil society together to strengthen the clean power investment and assistance offer, so that clean power is the most attractive option of new power generation for any country, including those in the Caribbean.
“At COP26 we will bring countries, development banks, investors and civil society together to strengthen the clean power investment and assistance offer.”
The UK supports the development of clean growth across the Caribbean and we will continue to partner on initiatives that support local mitigation and adaptation priorities.”
Regional Director, Caribbean Commonwealth – UK’s Department for International Trade (UK DIT)
“COP26 represents a critical opportunity for the international community to demonstrate that it recognizes the gravity of the climate crisis facing us and the existential threat this poses to Caribbean SIDS. This must be a COP of urgent action, not another COP of words and pledges.
“This must be a COP of urgent action, not another COP of words and pledges.”
One of the ways in which this can be done is through a firm commitment to providing Caribbean countries with access to the finance they need to adapt to the myriad impacts of climate change and to improve the competitiveness and resilience of their economies by transitioning their energy sector to renewable energy.”
Dr. James Fletcher
Managing Director – SOLORICON, Founder – Caribbean Climate Justice Project
“CDB anticipates that COP26 will demonstrate that the international community is serious about achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The Bank expects that all stakeholders coming to COP26 in Glasgow – including governments, but also international organizations, the private sector and civil society – will commit to do their part to help scale up climate-related financing and climate action on the ground. This is extremely important for the Caribbean, where even 1.5 degrees of warming will have severe impacts on our infrastructure, economies and people./span>
“This is extremely important for the Caribbean, where even 1.5 degrees of warming will have severe impacts on our infrastructure, economies and people.”
With regards to the energy transition in the Caribbean, it is critical that the international community continue to scale up flows of concessional climate finance. We have seen that concessional resources can be catalytic in addressing barriers to investment in sustainable and resilient energy systems in the Caribbean, especially by supporting early-stage project design & development and by de-risking projects in a manner that crowds-in private sector investment. Concessional financing is also needed at scale to help enhance the resilience of energy systems across the Caribbean. The region is already experiencing – and will continue to experience – increasingly intense hurricanes, flooding and other extreme weather events that threaten our energy infrastructure and systems. As such, dedicated and additional resources to support adaptation in small island developing states — including for the enhancement of resilience in energy systems — is particularly important in this context. CDB therefore hopes that developed countries will announce new initiatives and funding at COP26 to fulfill their commitment to channel at least USD100 billion/year in climate finance to developing countries, and that they will continue to work toward setting a more ambitious post-2025 climate finance target.
CDB also hopes that the international community will make significant progress in finalizing the Paris Agreement ‘Rulebook’ at COP26. Clear and concrete rules related to market mechanisms, transparency and common timeframes are needed to ensure Parties and other stakeholders can plan and pursue the most cost-effective pathways to net-zero emissions. Indeed, the energy transition in the Caribbean is essential for the necessary shift toward climate-resilient and low-emissions development pathways. A Paris Agreement ‘Rulebook’ that supports this broader economic and social transformation is therefore of paramount importance to the regional energy transition.”
Director of Projects – Caribbean Development Bank
Some of the responses have been edited for length.
Join stakeholders from across the Caribbean for interactive panels, exclusive interviews, and meaningful connections at CREF 2021 Virtual this October 27-28, 2021.