BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC -The European Union Wednesday launched its flagship program for green action in 33 Latin America and the Caribbean (EUROCLIMA) at the Walker’s Reserve here regarded as the site of one of the most significant ecological regenerative projects in the region.
The Euro 35 million (One Euro=US$1.29 cents) climate action program, EUROCLIMA, is the primary vehicle for green cooperation under the EU’s Green Deal in the region and will also build awareness and support green transition in the area.
EUROCLIMA will contribute to implementing the Global Gateway Investment Agenda in the region. Global Gateway is the EU’s program to bridge the infrastructure investment gap by using public financing to leverage private capital and investment for projects contributing to the green and digital twin transition.
“Tackling the climate crisis starts and ends with emissions reductions. But to support the global climate transition, we also need to make finance flow towards low-emission investments, climate-resilient development, and environmental sustainability,” said the European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans.
“With financial needs running into the trillions, we cannot rely on public finance alone. We also need to mobilize and enable private finance, showing investors that investing in the energy transition and climate adaptation pays off. EUROCLIMA helps to do just that,” she added.
The European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said EUROCLIMA embodies Global Gateway, the EU’s fair offer to deliver sustainable investments in our partner countries.
“The program will increase partners’ resilience against climate change, help protect the most vulnerable populations and build future-proof services in the region. As agreed with Caribbean Ministers in Barbados last October, with this extension of EEUROCLIMA, we are making sure that just green transition is at the heart of the Partnership between our regions,” she said, adding, “We will strengthen our climate cooperation given the upcoming EU-CELAC summit this July.”
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism, Civil Aviation, Sustainable Development, and Culture Minister Carlos James, whose country holds the pro-tempore presidency of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC), said the “EU and Latin America and the Caribbean are natural partners in the fight against the climate and biodiversity crises, and the extension of EUROCLIMA to the Caribbean will offer new concrete avenues to strengthen this partnership.”
The EU’s Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS, and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Malgorzata Wasilewska, said EUROCLIMA provides a unique opportunity to support ongoing efforts towards a green transition and to strengthen intra-regional collaboration and as such advance the Partnership on the Green Deal with the Caribbean and the Global Gateway Investment Agenda in the region.
“We will be planting some trees later today to mark this occasion in the calendar of our planet. I am confident that they will grow strong, with solid roots as our Partnership with the Caribbean and wide branches as the many actions we will achieve together,” she added.
The EU said that after more than a decade of successful implementation in Latin America, EUROCLIMA has evolved into a more robust and modernized version of the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Partnership.
It said the program would also strategically strengthen the long-standing EU-LAC relationship by implementing flexible and tailored actions involving a broader range of thematic and stakeholder scopes from both sides of the Atlantic. This includes a greater emphasis on addressing biodiversity loss and adopting circular economy principles.
The program aims to increase resilience to climate change of ecosystems and vulnerable communities, including women, youth, and indigenous populations, by implementing demand-driven actions.
Dialogues with the partner countries are ongoing and are the first step in co-creating concrete actions to tackle key identified development areas, the EU added.
It said to support this work, EUROCLIMA welcomes the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a new Implementing Agency (IA) that, along with Agence Francaise de Developpement (French Development Agency), Expertise France and The German Development Agency (GIZ), will continue to support climate action in the Caribbean.
The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the United Nations Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) complete the list of Implementing agencies of EUROCLIMA in the region.