First Caribbean Climate and Energy Conference presents results

Oranjestad – According to the Dutch government, the first Caribbean Climate and Energy Conference, the CCEC, has delivered concrete results such as cooperation agreements for more sustainable and affordable energy in the four-nation consultative group in Aruba, Sint Maarten and Curacao. and a roadmap for change within the kingdom. Obstacles to be tackled ahead of the next CCEC have also been identified.

The conference took place in Aruba and aimed to bring countries together to stimulate inter-island cooperation and exchange knowledge and best practice on issues affecting islands as a result of climate change.

Climate and Energy Minister Jetton: “Islands are at the forefront of climate change, and islands are frustrated by the lack of aid and climate action from bigger and more prosperous nations. So it’s time for more attention and support for islands to tackle the challenges of climate change.”

But according to Jetton, the time left to reinvent the wheel on each island is short. “That is why I wanted to seek and strengthen inter-island cooperation by organizing the first Caribbean Climate and Energy Conference. This is the only way to quickly deal with climate issues in the islands.

Kingdom

The first day of the CCEC was dedicated to the (island) countries within the Kingdom, with a round table discussion with the six islands led by Minister Jetton and Aruba’s Prime Minister Weaver Croce.

It has been agreed that there will be a roadmap for the whole kingdom for climate and energy sector changes. In addition, the four countries in the kingdom will cooperate more closely in the new four-nation Climate and Energy Council.

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In doing so, they are building on the collaboration launched with the Joint Kingdom Institute for United Nations Climate Conferences ahead of the previous United Nations Climate Conference (COP27) in Egypt.

Energy

Minister Jetton signed cooperation agreements in the field of sustainable energy with Aruba’s Prime Minister Wever-Groes and Sint Maarten’s Prime Minister Jacobs. The ambition is to rapidly implement sustainable energy projects on the islands with the help of Dutch know-how and expertise, so that Arubans and Sint Maarteners can benefit from clean, affordable energy.

A definitive cooperation agreement with Curacao will also be signed during Minister Jeton’s visit to the island today.

Climate action

Days two and three of the conference were international. Island representatives from the Caribbean region and Pacific island states are engaged with relevant parties such as UN agencies, knowledge institutions and financial institutions – on justice in climate change, climate resilient ecosystems and financing climate action.

During these conversations, a number of issues that hinder climate action on the islands emerged. This concerns a lack of capacity to develop and implement climate plans, lack of access or insufficient access to current and reliable data, and a lack of capacity and expertise to carry out complex procedures that provide access to financing. The government intends to tackle these points together with the islands in the coming period ahead of the next CCEC.

Ferdinand Woolridge

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