The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) have partnered to accelerate the energy transition in the Caribbean.
IRENA and CDF have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support a transition from fossil-fuel dependency to a more resilient and sustainable low carbon economic development model in the Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The two will help the region to reduce economic and social vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change.
IRENA and CDF will help the Caribbean islands reduce their dependence on expensive fossil fuel imports to meet their energy demand.
The Latin America and Caribbean region has the potential to source up to 85% of its power from renewables by 2030.
Relying on renewables will significantly improve energy security and reduce energy system costs.
CDF will provide direct financial and technical support to sustainable energy investments in its CARICOM Member States through Country Assistance Programmes targeting disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors operating in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.
IRENA and the CDF have agreed to collaborate in the following areas:
Collaborate in facilitating project development to create a pipeline of investment ready project proposals;
Provide technical support to improve project bankability and support transactions between projects and investors;
Support the enhancement and implementation of climate action plans in the Caribbean region to reduce intra-regional disparities, address local and sector-level economic disadvantages, tackle poverty, as well as strengthen social and environmental sustainability; and
Enhance the decision-making process across key stakeholders working towards a more renewables-based and resilient energy system in the Caribbean.
The CEO of the CDF Mr. Rodinald Soomer, said: “There is an acknowledged need for greater technical and financial assistance to support the build out and strengthening of the ecosystem around sustainable energy in the Caribbean. In response to this deficiency, the CDF will soon launch the Credit Risk Abatement Facility (CRAF), which seeks to incentivize additional lending from local financial institutions to the private sector for low-carbon interventions in CDF Member States. The new partnership with IRENA will complement this Facility by helping to provide and leverage resources for targeted technical and financial assistance and training to beneficiaries and stakeholders.”
Mr. Francesco La Camera, director general of IRENA, adds: “Partnerships are the cornerstone of the achievement of the sustainable development goals. Caribbean countries, like all small island development states, have the potential to realise transformative benefits from [the] low-carbon economic growth agenda.
“Working together with the CDF, IRENA reinforces its commitment to renewable energy transformation in small islands, and to mobilising the capital necessary to scale up the adoption of renewables and energy efficiency measures. This agreement complements the Agency’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the enabling environment and crowd in investment capital to meaningfully accelerate decarbonisation progress,” he concluded.