IDB to join new Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator to facilitate $1 billion of investments
WASHINGTON – The Inter-American Development Bank will partner with the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator to program and implement the additional $1 billion in funds that it pledged for climate smart-investments across the Caribbean region at the Paris One Planet summit on December 12, 2017.
This additional funding will build on an existing portfolio of over $200 million for work across the Caribbean region either directly, or through the Caribbean Development Bank. The idea is to support innovative solutions focusing on low carbon emissions, sustainable infrastructure, and energy efficiency projects.
During the next three years, the IDB will provide $3 million as start-up funds to the Accelerator for the implementation of the Caribbean Climate-Smart initiative, with the first $1.5 million available this year.
The Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator is an entrepreneurial engine that catalyses and fast-tracks priority initiatives towards a “climate-smart” zone, delivering resilience, social development and broad-based economic growth for the Caribbean. Over the next five years, the Accelerator will do so by identifying and uniting commitments to building a more sustainable and resilient future for Caribbean nations through collaboration between national governments, regional and international institutions as well as public and private sector organizations.
Nearly 30 Caribbean government heads and some of the largest global companies, financial institutions, and foundations have joined the Accelerator in response to catastrophic damage caused by several major hurricanes during 2017. Forty public and private sector organizations have joined the Accelerator’s wider coalition of partners, including Microsoft, Breakthrough Energy Coalition, Clinton Foundation, GSMA, The Nature Conservancy, Tesla, The Virgin Group, Willis Towers Watson, the World Bank, and the Caribbean Development Bank.
Given the very real need throughout the Caribbean region for low-cost, blended finance and contingent credit facilities, the IDB will work closely with the Accelerator to further develop catalytic climate risk insurance and resiliency instruments, building on the IDB’s recent commitment of $500 million to support Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, and The Bahamas with a contingent credit line for immediate budget support in the aftermath of natural disasters.
These activities are being complemented by initiatives from the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF). For example, MIF is exploring the financing of vetiver grass as a bio-engineering climate-smart solution to reduce land slippage and soil erosion. A green technology like vetiver grass can reduce environmental and property damage, as an alternative to traditional hard-engineered solutions.
IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno was joined by Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Virgin Group chairman Sir Richard Branson at the launch event on Thursday in Kingston, Jamaica.
Moreno stated: “The IDB Group reaffirms its commitment to the Caribbean and will work with leaders of the region to improve lives by creating climate-smart and vibrant economies, where people are safe, productive, and happy. Through this Climate-Smart Accelerator, in addition to offering new affordable financing, we will use the IDB’s extensive regional experience and presence on the ground to work closely with the people of the region to design their Caribbean of the future, today.”