National Climate Finance Adviser, Winston Bennett, Senior Economist in the Economic Affairs Division, Kelly Hunte (right); and Economist in that Division, Richelle Gaskin. (FP)

Barbados is in the process of trying to gain access to some of the funds pledged for climate finance, during the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015.

This disclosure has come from the Commonwealth-funded National Climate Finance Adviser to Barbados, Winston Bennett. He said that he has assisted various Ministries, development agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to develop, prepare and submit project proposals to climate finance donors.

Mr. Bennett stated: “I have worked on six proposals; four of them have already been submitted to various climate finance donors, while the other two are currently being developed.”

He explained that three of the project proposals were to Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects, for just under US$90,000, for three NGOs.

“In addition, I am trying to source project development assistance for two projects proposed by the Ministry of Environment and Drainage and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resources Management, estimated at US$ 6.7 million and US$ 25 million, respectively,” he indicated.

Last year, the Commonwealth Secretariat assigned seven National Climate Finance Advisers to work with three Caribbean countries, including Barbados, and four in Africa, to access climate finance.

It is believed that US$40 to US$175 billion per year is currently flowing from developed to developing countries for climate change related initiatives. Therefore, Mr. Bennett said it was necessary to access some of the billions of dollars available for loans and grant funds.

“The investment needs far exceed the pledges, but we must, however, utilise the available funds, so those pledging know that the developing countries mean business,” he stressed.

Mr. Bennett urged those who have climate-related projects or concepts to contact the Economic Affairs Division, which is the focal point for the programme. They may call Chief Economist, Ronnie Griffith at 535-1307; Acting Senior Economist, Kelly Hunte at 535-1354 or Economist, Richelle Gaskin at 535-1323.

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