NEW YORK, USA — Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Friday signed an accreditation master agreement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), as the final step in the accreditation process on behalf of the Department of Environment. This milestone unlocks opportunities for the continued strengthening of the climate resilience agenda of Antigua and Barbuda.
The accreditation master agreement provides a framework for the country’s direct access to climate finance from the Green Climate Fund to implement projects. There is an access of up to $10 million worth of projects in the pipeline for Antigua and Barbuda.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Department of Environment, a direct access Accredited entity, received board approval from the fund for a multi-country project to better prepare homes, businesses and infrastructure to withstand category 5 hurricanes akin to those that ripped through the Caribbean last year and decimated Barbuda.
Browne remarked “This is a milestone to be celebrated by everyone in Antigua and Barbuda. Our local private sector and community groups are going to benefit from GCF’s climate funds; we will be measuring the success of our first Enhancing Direct Access pilot project by how efficiently we can reach vulnerable people and give them the tools and funds to better cope with climate change.
“It’s been a significant investment, but I am pleased that Antigua and Barbuda’s Department of Environment will be the first national public institution in the Caribbean to be accredited to the Green Climate Fund. I hope this shows other small island states that it can be done. Antigua and Barbuda will continue to drive paradigm-shifting approaches to cope with climate change, because we must prepare for this reality.”
While many Caribbean countries continue to rebuild after the devastating 2017 storms, GCF Deputy Executive Director Javier Manzanares highlighted the importance of climate finance in safeguarding for future disasters.
“GCF is supporting the efforts of SIDS — both in the Caribbean and other parts of the world — to adopt integrated approaches which enhance the climate resilience of ecosystems and infrastructure,” he said. “This will improve the ability of societies to deal with both the rapid onset of weather disasters and with slower-moving climate effects.”
GCF will take stock of its ongoing efforts to assist regional climate action during its structured dialogue with the Caribbean in Grenada on 6 to 9 November. Grenada has joined Antigua and Barbuda, together with GCF, to develop a regional proposal to manage Caribbean climate and disaster risks.
During the signing ceremony Manzanares congratulated Antigua and Barbuda in its ongoing efforts in assisting other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries in gaining access to the Green Climate Fund.