Prime Minister’s Speech at UN Climate Change Summit

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Mr. President, as a small island developing state, classified as middle income and therefore denied access to concessional financing, vulnerable also to the adverse impact of global climate change, Barbados is committed to doing its fair share to ensure that the world is on a temperature increase pathway that is reduced to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Accordingly, in the 2012 Barbados Declaration on Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), my country declared the following voluntary commitments which are to be achieved by the year 2029: first, that 29 % of all electricity generated is produced from renewable sources; and second, that there is a 22 % savings in electricity consumption through the deployment of energy efficiency measures.

This proposed energy mix is expected not only to reduce the emission of Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere by 4.5 million tons, but also to result in a cut of total electricity costs by US$283.5 million dollars.These targets we pursue through a set of structural reforms including tax and other concessions, and through facilitating the development of new technical skills with the aim of creating hundreds of ???green jobs.???

For example, we have enacted a new Electric Light and Power Act to establish the regulatory regime for the sale of electricity from renewable energy sources by Independent Power Producers. To facilitate this, a low interest fund has been established to provide financial and technical support to the private sector for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

In the spirit of partnership and for the purpose of spurring innovation in pursuing Barbados??? Green Economy targets, we are also leading and catalyzing investments in a number of strategic areas including:??the conversion of biomass into electricity in the restructuring of our sugar cane industry;??the scaling up of electric vehicle deployment in the government???s transportation fleet;??the establishment of a pilot research and development initiative into the use of ocean energy;??the integration of L.E.D. technology in Barbados??? streetlight infrastructure.

I should like also to highlight that Government has committed itself to the full implementation of a Green energy complex that includes a 40 megawatt waste-to-energy plant.??Realising this ambition requires sustainable partnerships that embody commitments to finance, to capacity building and to technology transfer.

This would represent a seminal turning point for Barbados and would contribute to the ongoing global negotiation process that is intended to yield a comprehensive and legally binding agreement in Paris in the year 2015.

Barbados is not prepared to ask others to do what we will not do ourselves. We therefore call on our global partners to stand with the most vulnerable and energise the enabling mechanisms including the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund to assist us in arresting the escalating and devastating impacts of climate change.??We must act boldly, we must act together, and we must act now.

Mr. President,??I thank you.

Author: Prime Minister's Office
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