Saint Lucia has taken another step towards joining a number of other small island developing states in accessing financing from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to assist with mitigation and adaptation programmes.
At the recently concluded Green Climate Fund (GCF) Caribbean Private Sector Engagement Workshop from April 2-4, 2019 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the Saint Lucia delegation comprising the Ministry of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation, led by Acting Permanent Secretary Mr Claudius Emmanuel, the Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB), Managing Director, Mr Vincent Boland and private sector representative, Jade Hutchinson, participated in drafting a Regional Action Plan for Private Sector Engagement.
The workshop aimed at supporting private sector investment for advancing climate change was hosted under Jamaica’s GCF Readiness and Preparatory Support – Mobilizing Private Sector Support for Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Development in Jamaica and other CARICOM States. The workshop was attended by over 90 persons from National Designated Authorities, Accredited Entities, large and small private sector organizations (national development banks, credit unions, insurance companies) and private sector umbrella groups in the Caribbean.
At the workshop SLDB highlighted the key hindrances that need to be overcome to ensure that more persons are attracted to and make use of climate resilient techniques available to them. The Managing Director, Vincent Boland as part of the panel discussion with the officials of the GCF pointed out main touch points where he felt the GCF could make a difference, this included Creating or seeding investment funds, Incentivizing local financial institutions through credit guarantees, the partnering with local institutions that are well positioned to help entrepreneurs and startups, the Partnering with larger private-sector firms to scale up investments with shared commercial and development benefits and by providing technical assistance to help companies strengthen business management and advocate for the removal of legal and regulatory barriers that limit private investment.
Mr Boland shared the Bank’s Green Affordable Housing concept, which introduces the concept that all new developments and communities should adopt Climate resilient techniques from inception. Self sufficient electrical generations, rain and waste water harvesting, Green (LEEDs) certified construction techniques, all of which are aimed at causing inhabitants, particularly the vulnerable amongst us to withstand any weather-related event.
One of the highlights of the workshop was a presentation by Prof. Michael Taylor, Climate Studies Group Mona (CSGM) of The University of the West Indies & Co-author of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report. Professor Taylor presented the IPCC Special Report on impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above the pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.
He pointed out that “1.5% is not equal to 2%” as this would require even greater reductions in CO2 emissions possibly a 45% reduction would be required by 2030 and “net zero” emissions by around 2050 to counter this rise in temperature. These stark issues brought home the true reality for the participants, while all recognized that we in the small island developing states are not the perpetrators we are forced to reconcile with the urgency of the situation.
The Saint Lucia Development Bank is the leading financial institution in Saint Lucia promoting climate change resilience and adaptation. The Climate Adaption Financing Facility (CAFF) provides low interest loans to Saint Lucian enterprises in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and service sectors along with individual home owners to build and maintain physical and market resilience. The loans facilitate owners to reduce their vulnerability to climate change, maintain competitiveness and thrive through investment in climate smart initiatives, implementing green technology and retrofitting plant or buildings.
The Saint Lucia Development Bank is an important development partner established to support local business entrepreneurship, economic and social development through business consulting services, technical assistance and the provision of funding through loans, equity financing and other forms of assistance.