HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, confirmed that the UAE is proceeding with grants totalling US$34.5m (AED126.7m) to fund renewable energy projects in the Caribbean that are built to withstand Category 5 hurricanes and located for enhanced resilience.
This amount builds on projects valued at $15m announced last year as part of the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy under Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation.
The announcement was made at the second annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum, held on the sidelines of the 73rdSession of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, USA, where Minister Al Zeyoudi was invited to speak in the climate segment with former US President Bill Clinton and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank.
Addressing the forum, Minister Al Zeyoudi said: “The UAE is honored to have partnered with over 30 island countries since 2013 to implement renewable energy projects that reduce energy costs and create jobs. Today’s announcement on our partnership in the Caribbean builds on this legacy, simultaneously expanding our cooperation into climate resilience.”
“Hurricanes Irma and Maria were a wake-up call for us,” Minister Al Zeyoudi added. “We realized that the kind of projects we pursue had to change. As a result, we have implemented a resilience standard for all of our Caribbean projects that reflects the reality of climate vulnerability in the region. Inspired by this precedent, we are now preparing for global roll-out of a resilience standard across over $5bn of annual aid from the UAE.”
The Minister described plans for 7 new projects in Belize, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia. He also announced that the UAE had increased its allocation by 50 percent to the rebuilding of the Barbuda power system, devastated by Hurricane Irma, in order to relocate and strengthen its main plant, where a solar and battery solution will be installed.
The Minister additionally announced that the UAE will allocate $12m for the next cycle of the fund, to be launched in January 2019 at the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).