A peninsula separates the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea within the southwestern village of Scottshead, Dominica. Submit-COP28 the area plans to create a Local weather Sensible Zone within the Caribbean – one of many world’s most climate-vulnerable areas. Credit score: Alison Kentish/IPS
  • by Alison Kentish (saint lucia)
  • Inter Press Service

That’s in response to Raquel Moses, UNFCCC World Ambassador of Small Island Growing States and CEO of the Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator (CCSA), a partnership of 28 Caribbean governments and international firms working in direction of making the Caribbean a climate-smart zone.

Moses led a small however devoted three-woman CCSA staff to the local weather talks in Dubai. There, the staff participated and hosted occasions to safe financing for climate-resilient initiatives within the Caribbean, advocate for the Loss and Injury Fund, and current progressive, home-grown options to construct resilience within the Caribbean.

“The first global stocktake synthesis report by the UNFCCC gives a roadmap for all events to speed up their local weather motion efforts to satisfy the 1.5-degree goal, and the ‘Later is Too Late marketing campaign,’ which we had been proud to be part of, created a powerful push for the simply phase-out of fossil fuels, the tripling of renewable vitality, and the doubling of vitality effectivity. Whereas there may be nonetheless a lot work to be completed, we’re particularly hopeful given the management coming from the Caribbean, which continued to coalesce round one robust voice all through the COP course of,” Moses mentioned.

The offers at COP28 have been tempered by the fact that what occurs subsequent will likely be extra necessary than the pledges and textual content on paper.

“It’s following via to know how this manifests itself and what’s the local weather justice impression of a selected resolution. Once you hear issues like local weather finance being operationalized for explicit issues, when the board is carried out on the Loss and Injury Fund, who’s on that board and how much autonomy have they got? What sort of capacity have they got to behave with pace, for instance? And that for me is a local weather justice situation,” she mentioned, noting that the Caribbean wants funding and it additionally wants heightened philanthropy to satisfy local weather objectives.

Amongst these objectives is a long-term imaginative and prescient of making a Local weather Sensible Zone within the Caribbean, one of many world’s most climate-vulnerable areas. Moses says the accelerator will construct on initiatives that promote sustainable agriculture, renewable vitality, and resilience-building.

“We’re enthusiastic about our climate-smart agriculture that was launched in August in Anguilla, Barbados, and the Cayman Islands and need to see that increase subsequent yr. We’re all the time on the lookout for donors which can be keen to assist us to fortify and safe our meals. That could be a big half not simply of our adaptation, but it surely can be a supply of our mitigation as a result of the carbon dioxide that we spend on importing meals is pointless. Because the local weather disaster exacerbates, it means that there’s extra uncertainty in our meals manufacturing,” Moses mentioned.

Because it promotes climate-resilient options for the Caribbean, the Accelerator is investing closely in innovation. It noticed a milestone in Dubai when officers launched a Climate Smart Map, a platform with local weather motion information for 26 Caribbean international locations. It’s a main reduction for a area beset with challenges in accessing present, dependable information for growth.

“It demonstrates management in international transformation and showcases that we’re able to homegrown, cutting-edge options.This data-rich device pinpoints the primary areas of progress and wishes throughout CCSA’s 28 coalition international locations, enabling mission curation and entrepreneurship. This may assist mission builders, philanthropists, and traders take a regional view of addressing our wants. To advocate for the Loss and Injury Fund, which has now been operationalized and is starting to be severely capitalized,” Moses mentioned.

Whereas the map addresses the dearth of information within the area, the accelerator will likely be working onerous on two different main challenges: fit-for-purpose financing and mission preparation funding.

“The Caribbean boasts exceptional initiatives and visionary initiatives—such because the D30 biofuel by the Carbon Neutral Initiative in Jamaica and the formidable push for 100% renewable energy in international locations like Aruba, Barbados, Dominica, and Grenada—however securing fit-for-purpose financing stays a persistent hurdle,” CCSA’s Director of Public Sector Tasks Kiesha Farum advised IPS forward of the local weather talks.

“Many initiatives additionally require funding for due diligence, assessments, and evaluation to draw investor curiosity and to change into ‘bankable.’ Actively pursuing financing is the place we see grants, philanthropy, and concessional financing enjoying a serious function. Bringing this kind of financing to the area is of nice focus, notably throughout main occasions like COP and investor boards aimed toward matching initiatives with potential traders,” she mentioned.

Caribbean SIDS have rallied round calls by Barbados’s Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, for an overhaul of worldwide local weather financing. She has mentioned that this shake-up, coined the Bridgetown Initiative, could be based mostly on local weather justice, making certain that the best contributors to the local weather disaster assist international locations like these within the Caribbean entry finance to reply and construct resilience to a disaster they did little to create.

The initiative additionally promotes progressive financing for climate-related initiatives. These on the coronary heart of the mission to construct a climate-smart zone within the Caribbean know that standard financing mechanisms are now not ample to handle current local weather realities.

“Conventional financiers usually search long-term ensures and short-term returns, which can not align with the character and timelines of many local weather resilience initiatives, reminiscent of these targeted on nature conservation. On a nationwide scale, options like debt-for-nature and debt-for-climate swaps, the place a portion of presidency debt is cancelled in change for commitments to fund nature conservation initiatives, show immensely useful,” the CCSA’s Finance Innovation Director, Cheryl Senhouse, advised IPS.

‘A notable instance is Belize, which accomplished the world’s largest debt refinancing via a debt-for-nature swap in 2021, directing USD 364 million for marine conservation. Equally, Barbados executed a USD 150 million debt swap in 2022, producing USD 50 million for marine conservation. Given the numerous contribution of the tourism sector to many Caribbean international locations’ GDP, options like these have optimistic cascading results.”

The CCSA officers say the highway to COP29 began on December 13. It’s a nod to the work forward. For the Caribbean, it indicators the necessity for better solidarity and motion on sustainable meals techniques, renewable vitality initiatives, and progressive financing.

“We are going to proceed to work ambitiously to increase on our local weather sensible map, safe fit-for-purpose financing for initiatives that may shield 30% of our land and ocean. We wish to see the area attain 90% Renewable Vitality for All by 2035 and usher in a brand new economic system with at the very least 1.5% new inexperienced jobs,” mentioned Moses.

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