|Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator, Maxine McClean (FP)|
Providing generous incentives to individuals and businesses is fundamental to the development of this island’s Green Economy initiative.
Emphasising that "Barbados is prepared to play its part" in addressing climate change, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator, Maxine McClean, pointed out that "the sheer complexity and gravity of the climate change challenge to our region, requires a Whole-of-Government approach."
Speaking today at the opening of a high-level diplomatic course on Climate Change and International Negotiations, she assured participants that this country had committed to transforming itself into a model green economy.
The course, which is being held by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), commenced this morning at United Nations (UN) House and will conclude this Thursday, March 1, 2012.
Attending the course are representatives from various Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the Caribbean and Latin America, with responsibility for environmental issues and international negotiation on climate change.
Minister McClean explained that the approach Barbados has taken to the green economy was built on the principles of sustainable development.
Stressing that "at the national level, all ministries and government entities must integrate climate change considerations in their sectorial programming", she affirmed that active and sustained engagements by Ministries of Foreign Affairs were essential.
Observing that Barbados’ approach "reflects the fragility of our small island ecosystems", she pointed out that a key element to this island’s Green Economy initiative was offering incentives to individuals, local and foreign businesses.
The Foreign Affairs Minister told those in attendance that these incentives included allowing companies that manufactured green products to claim for an annual allowance of 150 per cent of the capital expenditure for the assets used.
"We have committed to the goal of providing 29 per cent of our electricity from renewable energy sources by 2029, and to deliver 22 per cent energy savings via a comprehensive energy efficiency initiative," she outlined.
Concluding that the "window of opportunity for averting catastrophic climate change is quickly closing", Minister McClean remarked that she hoped other developing countries would be inspired by the actions of Barbados.