Canada allots $44.8M to CARICOM to address climate crisis

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau surely did not come to the Caribbean leaders’ regular summit empty handed.

Justin Trudeau and Bahamas PM Hubert Minnis

At the 44th summit of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) last Thursday, Trudeau announced that his country is allotting $44.8 million in aid to the region, intending to focus on new initiatives such as “biodiversity, climate resilience, and disaster preparedness and recovery to support CARICOM in addressing the climate crisis.”

“Canada recognizes that climate change and biodiversity loss do not respect borders and is committed to supporting climate action in developing countries through its $5.3 billion (2021-2026) climate finance commitment,” the official statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said.

In his speech at the summit, Trudeau elaborated on the initiatives further, saying that the support is on “disaster preparedness and climate resilience” and “nature-based solutions to climate change while protecting biodiversity in the Caribbean” will be of utmost priority.

Canada’s initiatives include $15 million fund for disaster management in the region, $8 million allotment for the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, and $5 million “to help Latin American and Caribbean countries who request support to build their capacity for the adoption of nature-based climate solutions, in order to increase their climate resilience and protect ecosystems.”

Trudeau also acknowledged the Caribbean’s “global leadership on climate action.”

Certain islands, like Trinidad and Tobago, have shifted towards renewable energy as their source of power.

“We are advancing our national efforts with targeted adaptation interventions as well as initiatives such as increasing fines for illegal timbering and oil pollution,” Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Planning and Development, Pennelope Beckles, shared at last year’s national Pre-COP Consultation.

“These are complemented by incentives for renewable energy expansion and the construction of the 112-megawatt solar photovoltaic system, which is set to begin next year,” Beckles said.

Countries like Dominica is focused on building stronger infrastructure in a bid to become the world’s first climate-resilient nation.

Dominica’s Housing Initiative, in collaboration with its trusted developing company, MMC Development Ltd., has provided more than 2,000 residential units to those who were gravely affected by the onslaught of past hurricanes and typhoons and is continuing on building more for its residents.

LJI Reporter