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ECCB reports on 2022/2023 efforts to reduce impact of climate change on region

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) recently released its “Report and Statement of Accounts for the Financial Year ended March 31, 2023.” 

While the bank recorded its second consecutive loss, the Governor of the ECCB, Timothy Antoine, assured that the dollar remains strong.

“The EC dollar remains very strong. You know, sometimes we take it for granted, but it’s daily work and effort on our part to keep our dollar strong, to keep our currency safe, and throughout the last year, we’ve seen the continued resilience of the EC dollar.”

Apart from the report of the financial performance of the Central Bank, the document shared some of the other work the bank had been involved in throughout the financial year, including the Bank’s work to reduce the risks and impact of climate change on the region. 

One of the highlights of the Bank’s work in the transition to clean and renewable energy is the solar car park, which was completed during the financial year. 

The Federation’s Energy Minister, Konris Maynard, and a delegation visited the solar canopy for inspiration on the country’s push toward being a renewable energy leader in the Caribbean.

With any push toward a societal shift, the need for financing is a given, and the ECCB, with support from The World Bank and the Nationally Determined Contributors (NDC) Partnership, continues to develop a Renewable Energy Infrastructure Investment Facility. 

Some barriers to financing the shift toward renewable energy solutions also exist in the need for more necessary regulations and procedures to increase the availability of financial instruments.

Other initiatives that started development during the 2022/2023 financial year include: 

  • A ‘greening the financial system’ initiative geared towards training financial institutions & regulators to integrate climate risks into their assessments and supervisory frameworks; 
  • The ECCB has integrated climate-related financial risks into its Risk-Based Supervision Framework to assess the importance and impact of potential climate-related financial risks, methods for monitoring and supervising identified risks, and inclusion of climate-related financial risk issues in strategic plans;
  • In collaboration with the Nationally Determined Contributors (NDC), Partnership capacity-building and institutional strengthening sessions with Licensed Financial Institutions (LFI)s will be hosted for two years, covering strategic road-mapping, stress testing, and disclosure and reporting. 

The way forward in the eyes of the Bank includes collective constructs and investments in regional alliances and networks to build a regional energy green infrastructure; implementing strong integrated systems to tackle climate change; devise climate action plans that look beyond the hurricane season; increased education campaigns about climate change and understanding the link between climate change and health care.

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