Bridgetown, Barbados, January 11, 2023 — The World Bank approved yesterday US$100 million in financing to support Barbados’ low carbon economic development and resilience to climate change.
“I cannot underscore enough the necessity of support, such as this, to middle income small island developing states,” said The Honorable Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados. “This loan allows Barbados to advance its efforts to achieve climate resilience, including continuing our shift to clean energy. This ultimately allows us to better shield Barbadians from the worst excesses of the climate crisis while creating opportunities for green and blue jobs and investment as we adapt to our new reality.”
The Barbados Green and Resilient Recovery Development Policy Loan has two main pillars. The first focuses on green and blue resilient development, which includes a new law on water reuse, the adoption of a climate change and agriculture policy and the establishment of an Environmental Sustainability Fund, all of which are critical since Barbados is a water stressed country. This pillar also supports the reduction of marine pollution, and management of natural resources, in the context of climate vulnerability.
The second program pillar facilitates Barbados’ low carbon and resilient infrastructure development through the implementation of new standards for agency-level disaster management plans, institutional reviews of national emergency management agencies, as well as increased renewable energy capacity and support for climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.
Barbados’ heavy dependence on imported fossil fuels exposes the country to international price fluctuations, thereby impacting the competitiveness of productive sectors. Rising fuel prices also exacerbate the increasing vulnerability of Barbados’ economic recovery, adding to existing environmental vulnerabilities.
“The realities of the Caribbean as one of the world’s most vulnerable regions demands that we take strong action,” said Lilia Burunciuc, World Bank’s Director for the Caribbean. “The World Bank is pleased to support Barbados - and other Caribbean countries - as they strive for economic and environmental resilience, fully acknowledging that the two are inextricably linked”, she added.
Last year, the World Bank Group provided over $26 billion in climate investments to developing countries - including those in the Caribbean - and the Bank is on track to exceed that sum during this fiscal year. Further, the World Bank’s Climate Action Plan commits 35% of the Bank’s financing to climate action and the Bank’s Country Climate Development Reports are innovative, country-focused diagnostics which support countries in achieving low-carbon, resilient growth.