Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 20th 2014 Contents A50
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt April 20, 2014
ST GEORGE'S---The Grenada govern-
ment says it has entered into an agree-
ment with the Washington-based Car-
bon War Room (CWR) as it seeks to lure
investors in renewable energy.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell
signed the expression of interest with
the CWR, the brainchild of British entre-
preneur Sir Richard Branson. It is led by
Jose Maria Figueres, who is the former
president of Costa Rica.
Mitchell said Grenada was seeking
solutions to the high electricity prices
faced by Grenadians which were due, in
part, to the high cost of imported diesel
He said the efforts by the CWR would
be an important strand of an existing
strategy already being developed by his
Mitchell acknowledged that "green"
renewable energy held the possibility of
lowering the island s electricity prices.
A government statement said under
the agreement signed last weekend in
Washington, CWR would assist in
attracting investors, and other organi-
sations, to Grenada to finalise an updated
roadmap for action and investment in
renewable energy and energy efficien-
"The roadmap envisaged would take
stock of existing studies and investor
appetite so as to propose solutions for
improving the regulatory environment;
energy efficiency in government buildings
and assets, such as street lighting; afford-
able energy efficiency services targeted
at major energy users in the private sec-
tor, such as hotels and other businesses;
renewable energy solutions, such as wind
and solar, that would have a positive
impact on all households; and longer
term investment in geothermal energy,
starting with exploratory drilling."
Last year, Mitchell co-hosted the
Caribbean Challenge Initiative with Sir
Richard in the Virgin Islands, where
pledges were made to help the Caribbean
islands reduce importation of fossil fuel.
Meanwhile, Mitchell has told a panel
discussion hosted by the Centre for
Strategic and International Studies that
high-energy prices on the island were
He told the discussion over the last
weekend that the island was actively
seeking partnerships to help lower its
electricity prices by relying less on
imported diesel and more on Grenada s
domestic sources of energy such as wind,
solar and geothermal.
Mitchell said there was a six trillion
US dollar global market for new energy,
and that the region as whole needed to
embrace this opportunity for a greener
hemisphere as a strategy to increase com-
petitiveness and growth.
He said these efforts would provide
jobs for youth, reduce the appeal of the
drug trade, and promote social cohesion
in the region and encouraged the Organ-
ization of American States to play a more
active role in this regard as part of its
new vision. (Caribbean360.com)
Grenada, Carbon War Room
sign agreement to develop
renewable energy sector
Keith Mitchell, PM of Grenada.
BRIDGETOWN---Faced with the prospect of
losing miles of beautiful white beaches---and
the millions in tourist dollars that come with
them---from erosion driven by climate change,
Barbados is taking steps to protect its coastline
as a matter of economic survival.
"We need to be able to preserve those beaches.
We need to be able to preserve our coral reefs.
We need to preserve the marine life of our coun-
try, which is part of what tourists come to the
Caribbean for," Ronald Sanders, a former regional
diplomat, told IPS.
"All of those things are now, even as we speak,
being eroded, and sitting back and doing nothing
about it is not in our interest," he said.
"If there is continuous erosion of the beaches,
that is the very thing that you are selling world-
wide. You are saying: We have great beaches,
come and enjoy them and pay for the privilege ,
but if you have no beaches, what are you selling?"
Tourism is one of the largest industries in the
world, with an estimated 500 million people
spending billions of dollars on tourism-related
services annually. In addition, the industry
employs more than 100 million people world-
Tourism accounts for 15 per cent of gross
domestic product in Barbados, with the beaches
playing a significant role.
Foreign Affairs Minister Maxine McLean stress-
es that Barbados has not been spared the effects
of climate change.
"There is no greater threat to the survival,
viability and security of Barbados than the threat
posed by climate change," she said.
And Barbados is not alone. Sanders said almost
every Caribbean country is selling the same
thing. He is proposing a united approach.
"Barbados alone can t act, Antigua alone can t
act, St Vincent alone can t act. It s only if we
act together in concert with other countries that
have the same problem that people will listen
to us," he told IPS.
Sustainable programme manager at the
Caribbean Tourism Organization Gail Henry said
the Caribbean region has been seeing impacts
of climate change for some time.
"We are seeing instances of greater periods
of drought, greater periods of unanticipated pre-
cipitation in periods that are outside of the typical
rainy season," she said. "There are issues of salt
water intrusion, coastal erosion. These are some
of the typical impacts of climate change that we
are aware of that will occur, according to sci-
She said Barbados and its Caribbean neighbours
will have to look at creating a more diversified
tourism product that s not just hinged on the
typical sun, sea and sand.
In the interim, she said they will have to put
structures in place to save the beaches.
"Once you have a tourism product that is
hinged around the coastline, you have to be con-
cerned about things like the impact of sea level
rise," she said. "Countries would really need to
look at the way they plan where their resorts
are sited and they will also have to look at what
they can do because the cost of actually trying
to move a resort is probably not feasible."
With assistance from the Inter-American
Development Bank, Barbados is already taking
steps to protect and manage its beaches and
coastline. The Coastal Risk Assessment and
Management Programme is being carried out
over five years. (Caribbean360.com)
Mitchell said Grenada was
seeking solutions to the high
electricity prices faced by
Grenadians which were due, in
part, to the high cost of
imported diesel fuel.
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