BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide US$65 million through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to assist the smaller Caribbean countries with technical assistance for initiatives to reduce the negative impact of climate change and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
“The European Investment Bank recognizes the challenges of a changing climate faced by small island states in the Caribbean,” said EIB president, Dr. Werner Hoyer. “Working closely with the Caribbean Development Bank will ensure that long-term funding can make a valuable contribution to projects across the region.”
CDB president, Dr. Warren Smith, added that dealing with climate change was undoubtedly one of the most critical challenges currently facing the Caribbean and required considerable resources.
He said the CDB welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with the EIB in financing eligible climate action projects in its 18 borrowing member countries, while at the same time benefitting from the considerable experience and expertise of the EIB.
The Climate Action lending program will provide long-term, low-cost funding for public and private sector projects that reduce carbon emissions or deal with the effects of predicted changes in the earth’s climate.
Caribbean countries are exposed to adverse environmental, social and economic effects of a changing climate and more frequent severe weather events. The small size of such countries, the proximity of the coast to population centres, limited natural resources and economies open to external shocks further increase vulnerability.
Projects eligible for funding from the new lending program include climate adaption, renewable energy, sustainable transport, forestry, low carbon innovation and climate change innovation initiatives.
According to preliminary studies, there is a strong demand for such a fund to upgrade water and sewage networks to protect them from storm surge and rising sea levels.