Building climate resilience through innovative financing mechanisms for climate change adaptation (SCCF)
The problem that this project seeks to address is that vulnerable communities and sectors – that are reliant on ecosystem services – in Antigua and Barbuda are threatened by the impacts of an increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events caused by climate change. This is because of: i) limited technical capacity – within communities and government institutions – on how to design, implement and sustain adaptation interventions; and ii) limited available resources to finance climate change adaptation interventions. As a result, on-going adaptation efforts are not adequately protecting the country’s various vulnerable communities, sectors and ecosystems against predicted climate change impacts. As a last resort, individual property owners are often forced to self-finance their own adaptation interventions as there is little government support for climate change adaptation measures. Furthermore, there are limited financing options available for individuals, communities and businesses to access funds to implement ecosystem maintenance or restoration of degraded ecosystems in the face of climate change, and on-going adaptation interventions are generally implemented without appropriate grounding based on robust scientific research. The country is currently attempting to access International Monetary Fund resources to assist in coping with several years of hurricanes ; however, at present the required resources are not available. This failure to adapt to predicted climate change impacts will undermine socio-economic-related investments made by government, donor organisations – including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) – and the private sector.
The proposed solution to the problem is to promote the implementation of cost-effective adaptation measures in Antigua and Barbuda by: i) developing innovative financing mechanisms for funding adaptation interventions; ii) building institutional and technical capacity to identify, implement, maintain and upscale adaptation interventions; and iii) strengthening the knowledge base on climate change adaptation in Antigua and Barbuda.
SIRF Fund (Sustainable Island Resource Framework Fund)
The financial resources required to meet the estimated annual operational costs of the biodiversity rich Protected Areas system of Antigua and Barbuda is conservatively estimated at $5 million per year. The challenging financial environment and many legitimate competing national priorities has resulted in insufficient resources for sustainable environment management. While some important headway is beng made on establishing an enabling environment to raise and receive funds there remains an urgent need to pilot, implement and scale up conventional and alternative means to financial self-sufficiency for protected areas.
Section 16 of the proposed Environment Management Bill creates such a vehicle in the Environment Fund. The term coined for this vehicle is the SIRF Fund (Sustainable Island Resource Framework Fund). The SIRF Fund builds on the findings, baselines and management plans of previous projects.
The SIRF Fund will have several sources of income and this will include, sale of renewable energy technology, small loans facility, recycling of used oil, sewage services, micro-financing facility, and support where possible payments from the Government (debt for climate swaps) and grants from international agencies. A portion of the profits from the SIRF will be channelled to pay for the implementation of the Environmental Management Bill, adaptation measures, resilience reduction, and Protected areas management. This includes approved projects from government entities such as Development Control Authority, Fisheries Division, Environment Division etc. as well as NGOs which engage in environment management activities.
The fund is being designed to raise large amounts of funds annually and produce over 20MW of electricity from renewable technology. At a capacity of 20 MW the fund would save APUA over 20M USD per year in fuel cost and cover the full cost of electricity for the Government.
Energy for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean
The Energy for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean project (the Project) was proposed by five member countries of the Caribbean Community (CariCom):
- Antigua & Barbuda,
- St. Lucia, and
- Trinidad & Tobago.
GEF and UNEP support the Project, which aims to both reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and make the energy sector in the participating countries more efficient and increase their use of renewable energy.
The Project represents the first regional project that is piloting energy efficiency improvements in the economies of member states of Caricom while at the same time aiming to increase the use of renewable energy. In three of the five participating countries under the Project buildings are the major consumers. Since buildings are major consumers of electricity across the region the Project focuses on the buildings sector for improving the efficiency of energy use.
The overall objective of the Project is to bring about a 20 % reduction in GHG emissions from the building sector in the five participating countries though an integrated approach. this will involve:
- Technical demonstration of energy efficient equipment, appliances, and best practices with regard to the design of more energy efficient buildings and retrofitting of buildings to make them more energy efficient;
- Development and use of innovative financing mechanisms to address the higher upfront cost associated with the use of energy efficient products and equipment and the development of renewable energy sources;
- Development of sustainable energy policies to support market transformation towards the use of more energy efficient products and equipment and the increased use of renewable energy;
- Capacity building and institutional strengthening to implement sustainable energy policies and measures; and
- Public education to raise awareness among the general population of the benefits of sustainable development of the energy in comparison with a business-as-usual continuation of current practices of supplying and using energy.
Integrated Water Land and Ecosystem Management (IWEco)
The IWEco projects is a regional project seeking to implement an integrated approach to water, land and ecosystems services management, supported by policy, institutional and legislative reforms. The Project also aims to implement effective and appropriate technologies to accelerate contribution to global targets on access to safe and reliable water supplies and improved sanitation, and contributing to improved ecosystem functioning in the Caribbean.
The national project seeks to strategically advance the support system for the GEF IWCAM intervention through the development and implementation of an innovative financial base that will encourage policy reform in land degradation and wastewater management. Sewage and used oil disposal in Antigua and Barbuda has been identified as significant sources of land degradation. This results from inadequate and inappropriate sewage as well as used oil disposal in various habitats which not only destroys the land but also the supported habitats.
The IWEco project builds on a national wastewater strategy developed by the IWCAM Project to provide adequate financial services and other enabling policies to assist the Government and the Private sector in meeting their obligation under the National legislation with regards to effective land management. Based on existing national circumstances and the recognized leading causes of land degradation, the project specifically addresses the issue of Wastewater Management in the Northwest Coast of Antigua and the management of used oil within public sector agencies.
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