Monthly Archives: August 2014

Climate Policy Goes Hand-in-Hand with Water Policy

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Guyana beverage manufacturer Banks DIH Limited treats all waste water, making it safe for disposal into the environment. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS Guyana beverage manufacturer Banks DIH Limited treats all waste water, making it safe for disposal into the environment. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

Concerned that climate change could lead to an intensification of the global hydrological cycle, Caribbean stakeholders are working to ensure it is included in the region’s plans for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

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Small islands to sign historic treaty in Samoa

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SIDS DOCK

Small islands to sign historic treaty in Samoa, to help finance climate change adaptation

Representatives from 31 small islands and low lying countries that are members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) will reaffirm their commitment to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Sustainable Energy mechanism – SIDS DOCK – at an Official Ceremony for the Opening of Signature for the Statute Establishing the SIDS DOCK, on 1 September 2014, during the upcoming United Nations (UN) Third International Conference on SIDS, in Apia, Samoa, from 1-4 September. The opening for signature of this historic SIDS-SIDS Treaty is a significant highlight and outcome of the Conference, and a major step toward the treaty’s entry into force.

Representatives scheduled to attend the ceremony confirmed their continuing support for, and preparation to sign the Statute as soon as possible, and reiterated their resolve to continue cooperating to achieve its prompt entry…

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Goodbye gasoline… first green LEAF arrives in the Cayman Islands

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands — The NCB group in the Cayman Islands has purchased the very first new all-electric Nissan LEAF in the Caribbean, reinforcing its commitment to environmental sustainability.

“NCB Group is proud to be a part of the innovative movement towards electric cars in the Cayman Islands,” said Matthew Wight, managing director.

Considered the premier residential developer in the Cayman Islands, the NCB group is seeking to further reduce its ecological footprint in an effort to protect the Caribbean and the planet from harmful greenhouse gasses.

Wight said that he drives electric vehicles because he knows that he is helping the environment.

“As a company, we strive to employ sustainable and green technologies when we build our residential and commercial projects and we wanted to carry this mission through to the vehicles we drive,” he explained.

Driving a Nissan LEAF – a 100% electric car — has been extremely rewarding “in the sense that the LEAF does not use a single drop of gas. It has no tailpipe, no fumes and produces zero emissions,” he said.

“As we build with Cayman’s future in mind we are also looking to alternative energy sources in everything we do with the goal to be as eco-conscious as possible,” Wight added.

For nearly a decade John Felder, president and CEO of Cayman Automotive Leasing, has been at the forefront of the burgeoning electric vehicle industry in the Caribbean.

His hope is to see electric vehicles being driven in every country in the Caribbean and eventually the world in years to come.

“I applaud Mr Matthew Wight and NCB for investing in the future for a cleaner and healthier environment. The energy generated to power the Nissan LEAF and the energy to move the car is 97% cleaner in terms of noxious pollutants,” Felder said.

The Nissan LEAF boasts one of the quietest and smoothest rides ever experienced. The vehicle does not have a gas tank and drivers will never have to pay at the pumps again. The motor is powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery, which is half the weight and twice the power of the nickel-metal hydride batteries used in hybrids, and can easily be charged at home, or at any solar panel charging station in Grand Cayman.

Felder is certain that electric cars are the cleanest, most efficient, and most cost effective form of transportation around.

“Electric cars are high performance vehicles that will continue to meet new challenges in the future,” he said. More

 

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Time to ask why

Young people have the most to gain from solving the climate crisis — and the sooner the better.

They didn't cause the issue, but they'll have to live with it for decades. And for far too long, they and their interests have been ignored by leaders who refuse to protect the planet.

On September 23, this is going to change when exceptional young people get a chance to put their questions to the world's decision-makers — to speak for their generation at the U.N. Climate Summit in New York City.

Today, we begin searching for the people who will ask their leaders the tough questions about global warming. We're collecting videos of young people ages 13-21 posing tough Why? or Why not? questions about the climate crisis. We'll choose the best to attend the Summit and demand serious answers from the world's leaders.

If you're between the ages of 13 and 21, submit a video. If not, encourage someone you know to submit a video of their own.


Why do we continue burning fossil fuels that cause climate change? Why not switch to clean, renewable energy?

The answers are out there, but we won't get them unless we stand together and demand them — and refuse to be ignored.

Thanks for your continued support,

Al Gore
Founder and Chairman

SUBMIT A VIDEO

 

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Caribbean Governments now insured against excess rainfall

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The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) is pleased to announce that eight of its members have become the first countries to purchase its excess rainfall insurance coverage – for the 2014/2015 policy year.

Developed by CCRIF and global reinsurer, Swiss Re, the excess rainfall product is aimed primarily at extreme high rainfall events of short duration (a few hours to a few days), whether they happen during a tropical cyclone (hurricane) or not. Like CCRIF’s tropical cyclone and earthquake insurance, the excess rainfall product is parametric and estimates the impacts of heavy rain using satellite rainfall data from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) and exposure from CCRIF’s risk estimation database. Because the excess rainfall product is parametric, a payout can be made quickly (within 14 days) after a rain event that triggers a country’s policy, without waiting for time-consuming damage and loss assessments on the ground.

CCRIF CEO…

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Africa and the Caribbean Talks Water Security and Climate Resilient Development

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Participants at the Africa and the Caribbean Knowledge Exchange on Water Security and Climate Resilient Development Participants at the Africa and the Caribbean Knowledge Exchange on Water Security and Climate Resilient Development

A first of its kind south-south knowledge exchange between Africa and the Caribbean on water security and climate resilient development was held at the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad this week (June 26, 2014). The meeting, which was held as a side event during the 2014 Global Water Partnership Network and Consulting Partners Meeting (held outside its host country Sweden for the first time), sought to enable lessons and experience sharing across the regions based on initiatives planned and realized under GWP’s global Water, Climate and Development (WACDEP) programme. “Despite obvious geographic differences, the two regions have much to learn from each other on the development and application of the regional frameworks, tools, strategies and knowledge products for advancing water security and climate resilience,” said GWP-Caribbean WACDEP Coordinator Natalie Boodram.

The high-level technical…

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Caribbean Needs $30 Billion of Investment to Cut Fossil-Fuel Use

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Banner for Climate Resilient Islands Partnership Credit: Climate Resilient Islands Partnership Promo

The Caribbean needs to lure as much as $30 billion of investment to cut reliance on fossil fuel and expand renewable energy, partly by securing attractive payments for generators of clean power, a regional development bank said.

“Most of our countries are highly dependent on fossil fuels for power generation,” Caribbean Development Bank President Warren Smith said in an interview in London. “This vulnerability to volatile oil prices has contributed hugely to the competitiveness challenges of Caribbean industries.”

About $20 billion is needed in the next five to 10 years to replace power plants and upgrade distribution and transmission, he said. Another $10 billion is required to improve roads and airports and “climate-proof” current infrastructure. There is potential to replace 4,750 megawatts of fossil-fuel generation with renewables through 2019, Smith said.

The bank is talking with regional utilities interested in building clean-energy plants to…

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UN Releases Six Briefs for SIDS Conference Partnership Dialogues

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has released a series of six briefing papers on priority themes for discussion during the Third International Conference on Small Island Development States (SIDS), set to take place in Apia, Samoa, from 1-4 September 2014.

August 2014: The SIDS conference will include six multi-stakeholder ‘Partnership Dialogues’ intended to strengthen existing partnerships and promote new ones. The UN briefing papers correspond to the partnership dialogue themes of: sustainable economic development; climate change and disaster risk management; social development in SIDS, health and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), youth and women; sustainable energy; oceans, seas and biodiversity; water and sanitation, food security and waste management. The papers suggest a wide range of opportunities that could be addressed through new or existing partnerships, especially public-private collaborations.

On sustainable economic development, the authors propose conducting investment impact monitoring, and establishing regional SIDS programmes to promote investment through public-private partnerships.

On climate change and disaster risk management, the authors suggest the adoption of risk financing instruments, such as contingency funds and insurance, as part of spatial and development planning initiatives.

On social development, they note that obesity and diabetes rates are “staggering” in the Pacific, and they aim to prevent premature morbidity and mortality from NCDs, including measures to protect SIDS from the negative impacts of bilateral and global trade agreements. They also aim to make education more relevant, and to improve labor market access and secure quality jobs for young people.

On sustainable energy, the authors recommend supporting an enabling environment for sustainable energy markets; facilitating access to modern, affordable and reliable energy services for rural households; decreasing reliance on fossil fuel imports; and improving women’s access to renewable and cost-effective energy.

On oceans, they recommend addressing the impacts of ocean acidification and climate change, promoting inclusive and sustainable development of local economies using the oceans, preventing marine and land-based pollution, and reversing the decline in fish stocks.

On water and sanitation, they propose strengthening regional mechanisms for managing hazardous wastes and ship-generated wastes; promoting resource efficiency as a means to reduce the generation of waste and wastewater, and incorporating climate information into practices and policies for supporting agriculture and food security. [Partnership Dialogue Briefs] [SIDS Conference Website] [SIDS Partnerships Platform]

 

 

 

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UN Launches International Year of SIDS

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Credit: The 5Cs Credit: The 5Cs

At the recently concluded  global launch of the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), to be celebrated throughout 2014, Ronald Jumeau, Ambassador of Climate Change and SIDS, Seychelles, who served as Master of Ceremonies, noted that the occasion marks the first time the UN has dedicated an International Year to a particular category of countries. The launch ceremony took place at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 24 February 2014.

John Ashe, President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), said that while SIDS are seen as exotic, tropical paradises, they face limited human resources and institutional capacity, and extreme vulnerability to exogenous shocks and natural disasters. The Year provides opportunities to: celebrate SIDS’ contributions to the global family; address their environmental degradation, social and economic marginalization; and harness fresh commitments and energy for the tasks ahead. Recalling the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) and…

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UN Releases Six Briefs for SIDS Conference Partnership Dialogues

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The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has released a series of six briefing papers on priority themes for discussion during the Third International Conference on Small Island Development States (SIDS), set to take place in Apia, Samoa, from 1-4 September 2014.

The SIDS conference will include six multi-stakeholder ‘Partnership Dialogues’ intended to strengthen existing partnerships and promote new ones. The UN briefing papers correspond to the partnership dialogue themes of: sustainable economic development; climate change and disaster risk management; social development in SIDS, health and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), youth and women; sustainable energy; oceans, seas and biodiversity; water and sanitation, food security and waste management. The papers suggest a wide range of opportunities that could be addressed through new or existing partnerships, especially public-private collaborations.

On sustainable economic development, the authors propose conducting investment impact monitoring, and establishing regional SIDS programmes to promote investment through public-private partnerships.

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