BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday February 27, 2012 – The European Investment Bank (EIB) has pledged to provide US$65 million for a dedicated Climate Action lending programme through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in 18 countries.
This will result in Caribbean small island states benefitting from the new funding and receiving technical assistance for initiatives that reduce the negative impact of climate change and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
EIB president, Dr. Werner Hoyer said: “The European Investment Bank recognizes the challenges of a changing climate faced by small island states in the Caribbean. Working closely with the Caribbean Development Bank, will ensure that long-term funding can make a valuable contribution to projects across the region.”
Meanwhile, CDB president, Dr. Warren Smith said dealing with climate change was undoubtedly one of the most critical challenges currently facing the Caribbean, and therefore required considerable resources to be dedicated in its resolution.
He added 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 programme 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.
Countries in the Caribbean are exposed to expect 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 Climate Action lending programme 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.