US$34.5 Mil­lion Con­firmed in Grants un­der UAE-Caribbean Re­new­able En­ergy Fund

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

His Ex­cel­lency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zey­oudi, United Arab Emi­rates (UAE) Min­is­ter of Cli­mate Change and En­vi­ron­ment, on Sep­tem­ber 27, con­firmed that the UAE is pro­ceed­ing with grants to­talling US$34.5 mil­lion to fund re­new­able en­ergy projects in the Caribbean that are built to with­stand Cat­e­gory 5 hur­ri­canes and lo­cated for en­hanced re­silience. This amount builds on projects val­ued at US$15 mil­lion an­nounced last year as part of the UAE-Caribbean Re­new­able En­ergy un­der Her Ex­cel­lency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Min­is­ter of State for In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion.

The an­nounce­ment was made at the sec­ond an­nual Bloomberg Global Busi­ness Fo­rum, held on the side-lines of the 73rd Ses­sion of the United Na­tions Gen­eral As­sem­bly (UNGA) in New York, USA, where Min­is­ter Al Zey­oudi was in­vited to speak in the cli­mate seg­ment with for­mer US Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton and Kristalina Ge­orgieva, CEO of the World Bank.

Ad­dress­ing the fo­rum, Min­is­ter Al Zey­oudi said: “The UAE is hon­oured to have part­nered with over 30 is­land coun­tries since 2013 to im­ple­ment re­new­able en­ergy projects that re­duce en­ergy costs and cre­ate jobs. To­day’s an­nounce­ment on our part­ner­ship in the Caribbean builds on this le­gacy, si­mul­ta­ne­ously ex­pand­ing our co­op­er­a­tion into cli­mate re­silience.”

“Hur­ri­canes Irma and Maria were a wake-up call for us,” Min­is­ter Al Zey­oudi added. “We re­al­ized that the kind of projects we pur­sue had to change. As a re­sult, we have im­ple­mented a re­silience stan­dard for all of our Caribbean projects that re­flects the re­al­ity of cli­mate vul­ner­a­bil­ity in the re­gion. In­spired by this prece­dent, we are now pre­par­ing for global roll-out of a re­silience stan­dard across over US$5 bil­lion of an­nual aid from the UAE.”

The Min­is­ter de­scribed plans for seven new projects in Belize, the Do­mini­can Repub­lic, Gre­nada, Guyana, Haiti, St Kitts and Ne­vis, and St Lu­cia. He also an­nounced that the UAE had in­creased its al­lo­ca­tion by 50 per cent to the re­build­ing of the Bar­buda power sys­tem, dev­as­tated by Hur­ri­cane Irma, in order to re­lo­cate and strengthen its main plant, where a so­lar and bat­tery so­lu­tion will be in­stalled.

The Min­is­ter ad­di­tion­ally an­nounced that the UAE will al­lo­cate US$12 mil­lion for the next cy­cle of the fund, to be launched in Jan­uary 2019 at the As­sem­bly of the In­ter­na­tional Re­new­able En­ergy Agency (IRENA).

In tan­dem with the Bloomberg Global Busi­ness Fo­rum, Min­is­ter Al Zey­oudi also par­tic­i­pated in the One Planet Sum­mit or­gan­ised by Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron of France. The UAE is a core mem­ber of a sov­er­eign wealth fund work­ing group on car­bon ac­count­ing, an­nounced un­der the sum­mit.

UAE for­eign aid for re­new­able en­ergy has reached nearly US$1 bil­lion since 2013.

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