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Derek Gibbs


Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Represented by

Derek Gibbs

Chief Economist
Derek has been actively involved in the Green Climate Fund (GCF) since its inception. He represented Barbados on the Transitional Committee for the design of the GCF, and later served as the Board Member for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on the GCF Board. 

Share with us a game-changer programme that GCF could fund in Barbados that would represent a paradigm shift?

We do have ambitious projects, and one in particular is focused on coastal infrastructure. Being an island state, Barbados is highly vulnerable to and impacted by sea level rise and storm surges. With 70% of the island’s population residing along coastal areas and most tourism infrastructure also on the coasts, you can quickly grasp why we are focused on protecting our coastlines.

This specific programme will be made up of various components that focus on coastal and coral restoration and sea urchin protection. We will be looking to GCF to help us further develop this high impact initiative and to provide support for project preparation.

What are the major challenges and opportunities in implementing the Paris Agreement in Barbados?

As part of our commitments under the Paris Agreement, our nationally determined contributions (NDCs) focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 37% by 2025 and 44% by 2030.

The challenge in getting towards these targets is ensuring we move to a green economy and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. This means a shift to renewable energy, in particular solar. We also need to transform the transportation sector by utilizing more energy efficient methods as well as revisit how we consume energy at the individual and household level.

The challenge in all of this will be financing the transition to renewable energy. Some consumer-level incentives have been offered, but we need to get the right programmes in place to entice more people to come on board. We can achieve our targets, but it will only happen with more resources.

How do you foster effective partnerships?

As a small country, we already have certain processes in place to foster effective consultation. We have a Social Partnership that represents government, private sector, and civil society actors, which provides a forum to bring these and other stakeholders together. We have also established a Green Climate Fund Working Group, made-up of a cross-section of people, that meets to discuss the GCF and the opportunities it presents.

Barbados has longstanding relationships with many of the entities accredited to the GCF in the region, such as the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. Looking ahead, as Barbados has yet to have a national Accredited Entity, we will be seeking more open dialogue with potential entities to ensure that there is two-way communication established early on to enable an effective and efficient partnership with the entities and GCF.

How to engage the private sector in Barbados’ climate actions?

Although the private sector in Barbados is aware of climate change and its impacts, we do need to support them in learning more about climate change and what opportunities exist within adaptation and mitigation. Barbados’ private sector consists mainly of small- and medium-size enterprises, some of which are clustered around tourism and agriculture. While these sectors would be most heavily impacted by climate change, they could also benefit from any actions taken. Ultimately, we are all in this together and the private sector has a responsibility to be engaged, not just government.

Associated links

Barbados NDC