GCF Caribbean consultations chart paths to greater resilience
A number of Caribbean countries are now repairing the damage left in the wake of extreme weather which swept through the region in September, including Irma - the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean.
The GCF consultations, running from 10 to 19 December, will investigate funding opportunities to progress low-emission development pathways and climate change adaptation in the Caribbean.
In addition to supporting mitigation, GCF is scaling up its financing to help countries enhance their resilience to climate change, including support for climate information services and early warning systems.
Weather-induced devastation in the Caribbean has been followed by calls to include climate resilience in regional reconstruction now underway.
An international pledging conference last month soliciting public and private sector support to finance post-disaster reconstruction in the Caribbean highlighted the need to “build back better.”
During this UN-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meeting held in New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said “countries in the Caribbean need support now to rebuild, and to take effective climate action.” This included the need for “a new generation of infrastructure that is risk-informed.”
During the GCF confabs, the Fund’s partners – including Accredited Entities and National Designated Authorities or Focal Points – are providing their own perspectives on how to make the Caribbean more climate proof. The workshops are being held in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Barbados, Grenada and Haiti.
In addition to exploring targets of adaptation funding, the meetings will identify potential GCF involvement in mitigation projects, such as enhancing the resilience of renewable energy infrastructure during the hurricane season.
Other major aims of the consultations include drawing in private sector funding to drive regional climate action, and to further develop a regional proposal to manage climate and disaster risks.
They will also provide an ideal setting to share information and experiences between Caribbean nations on how to strengthen climate resilience against a backdrop of increasing urgency.
Speaking at the New York post-disaster pledging conference, Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda said: “Climate change recognizes no borders, size of country or religion of its people. All are involved and all are consumed; but the small, vulnerable, poor are the most affected.”
Earlier, in September, Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told the UN General Assembly his nation “resembles a warzone” after its buffeting by back-to-back hurricanes, which he attributed to warmer air and sea temperatures.
Hurricane Maria decimated decades of development gains in Dominica, impacting over 200 percent of the island state’s GDP.