Barbados signed its first Readiness Grant agreement with the Green Climate Fund Monday, which gives its government access to millions in funding to better organize climate response finances.
The Economic Affairs and Investment Minister Marsha Caddle, signed the agreement with the GCF’s Director of Country Programming Pa Ousman Jarju, on the margins of the fund’s Global National Designated Authority and Private Investment for Climate Conferences, being held in Incheon, South Korea.
Through this readiness program, the government will receive an initial US$300,000 in grant financing from the GCF that would enable it to US$1 million annually for improving Barbados’ engagement with the fund, and therefore its access to climate response financing; along with a further US$3 million for the development of National Adaptation Plans.
“The Government of Barbados is committed to improving our access to climate finance and ensuring that our own investments are climate resilient. We are doing our part,” said Minister Caddle after signing the readiness agreement.
According to Caddle, the global community should follow through on the Paris Agreement because they realized that “small islands were right to insist in that agreement on limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. At 1.5 degrees, for example, coral reefs decline another 70 to 90 percent. At 2 degrees, that goes to 99 percent. Barbados’ survival depends on local and global climate action. We are pleased to have the GCF as partners in this fight.”
The country has set the target of being fossil fuel free by 2030. The program would also seek to strengthen private sector involvement in clean energy and climate resilience projects.
Barbados has endorsed the Caribbean Development Bank and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre as the regional institutions through which GCF-funded projects may be implemented.
A statement from the government reports that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment has already commenced development of further proposals and the country will be drawing down additional resources in 2019.