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SKN closer to receiving US $40 million from GCF to sure up climate resilience

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Environment sustainability and Climate Action continue to be a focus point for the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, especially concerning financing for building climate resilience.

In an update on critical work within her ministry, Senator and Minister responsible for Sustainable Development, Environment, Climate Action and Constituency Empowerment, Hon. Dr. Joyelle Clarke, announced that the Federation was closer to securing US $40 million for a Trans-Water Project.

“St. Kitts and Nevis has received its fifth GCF readiness support, and this is to support our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). I end by saying we have reached the furthest we have ever reached in terms of GCF [grants] – We are now much closer to accessing our US $40 million grant for our Trans-Water Project. We’re uniquely poised to support critical ministries – Environment, Water, Energy, Tourism, Education, and of course, we continue doing so with the support of the Ministry of Finance.”

As mentioned, the funding would be facilitated through the Green Climate Fund (GCF), an element of the Paris Agreement and the world’s largest climate fund that could pilot new financial structures to support green market creation.

The financial support is offered through a flexible combination of grants, concessional debt, guarantees or equity instruments with blended finance and private investment for climate action in developing countries.

Outside of funding from the GCF, the Minister with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Investment, Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, promised to continue efforts to secure financing for a greener St. Kitts and Nevis.

“We in this Ministry through SKIPA and other agencies will continue to reach out in tourism development; in strengthening and hastening the pace with which [the] transition from a dependence on fossil fuels energy [to green energy is achieved].”

Other initiatives to secure climate resilience, starting with securing and preserving potable water as water is one of the first elements to be negatively impacted by Climate Change, include desalinisation and the digging of new wells, as shared by the Water Minister, Hon. Konris Maynard in his update during parliament.

“Works are on the way to augment our water supply with desalinated water and additional well water. In the budget, I was able to inform that the country was looking at desalinated water and well water, and we’re pleased that there are now two projects that are going to be on the way shortly. One is a donated project by the UAE to give up to about 76,000 gallons of desalinated water, and another project proposal that is presently under review will give an additional three million gallons.”

Minister Maynard shared that the technical aspects of securing the water are underway, with the Water Department building out the plan for transporting and securing the water.

“The Water Department is now well underway in identifying the additional parts of the project. For instance, in order to get the desalinated water from the sea to the tanks where we have to store it, we need about 35,000 feet of pipe. Fortunately, we budgeted this money in our budget in December, and so we are well equipped to put in all of the infrastructure to get that water. I don’t like to give timelines, but I am trying to give everybody a good Christmas.” – Minister of Public Infrastructure, Energy and Utilities, et al., Hon. Konris Maynard, during the March 7 sitting of the National Assembly.

One GCF project the Federation has been a part of since 2015 is the FP020 project which focuses on the energy sector and seeks to help five countries in the Caribbean region – Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent & Grenadines – lower their reliance on fossil fuels and develop their respective Geothermal Energy projects. The project’s total value is US $192.4 million through a combination of grants and loans provided by the GCF and other financial partners. The Project is expected to be completed in 2027.

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