Bridgetown, Barbados — Efforts by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to promote the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency among its borrowing member countries have been advanced by the signing of a Contribution Agreement with the European Union-Caribbean Investment Facility (EU-CIF), in Brussels, Belgium to support the new Sustainable Energy for the Eastern Caribbean (SEEC) Programme.
The signing took place in Brussels at a side-event to the second EU-CELAC/8th EU-LAC Summit held June 9 – 11 under the theme: “Shaping our common future: working for prosperous, cohesive and sustainable societies for our citizens”.
The SEEC Programme is a multi-partner loan and grant facility with a total budget of approximately €21.4 million. The EU-CIF grant contribution of €4.45 million to the SEEC Programme will provide both technical assistance and investment grants to six beneficiary countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The signing comes against the background of the CDB making energy security a thematic focus in its current Strategic Plan. This focus is guided by the Energy Sector Policy and Strategy. In 2014, the Bank produced a study: “A New Paradigm for Caribbean Development: Transitioning to a Green Economy” which examined the merits of transitioning to increased energy efficiency and use of renewable energy.
“The SEEC Programme will allow CDB, in collaboration with its Development Partners, to employ innovative financing methods to advance sustainable energy solutions for six of its borrowing member countries. The programme has the potential to initiate a radical change in the energy landscape for the beneficiaries. It could become a model for the rest of the Caribbean; and the lessons learned from this Programme can inform the creation of expanded facilities for the benefit of all of the borrowing member countries of CDB,” said Dr William Warren Smith, president of the Caribbean Development Bank.
The EU-CELAC summit brings together European, Latin American and Caribbean leaders to strengthen relations between both regions. These summits are the main fora for dialogue and cooperation between Europe, and Latin American and Caribbean states.