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War on global warming intensifies, Dominica already on a clear path to resilience: CS Global Partners

·5-min read

London, July 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This week, President Joe Biden announced executive action to confront the climate crisis – a $2.3bn plan to fight climate change. It is said White House officials are still weighing a separate declaration that climate change is a national emergency in the United States – a step that would unlock broad executive powers to propel clean-energy construction, restrict oil drilling and curb fossil fuel use.

The emergency order is one of several tactics now under deliberation, as the White House looks at strategies to demonstrate President Biden’s commitment to clean energy.

While large economies tussle with clean energy policies and legislation, one island nation in the Caribbean is on a clear and straight path to climate resilience and should be an example to those looking to make a meaningful impact on the war against global warming.

The Commonwealth of Dominica is highly susceptible to climate impacts and in the period between 1997 to 2017, Dominica had the highest GDP losses to climate-related natural disasters and ranked in the top 10 per cent among 182 countries for climate-related fatalities. The worst of those were Tropical Storm Erika in 2015 and Hurricane Maria in 2017, which resulted in an aggregate loss of over 300% of the country’s GDP.

Following the catastrophe caused by Hurricane Maria, the Prime Minister of Dominica, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, vowed to build a climate-resilient nation and reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. This pledge was made at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Since the announcement, the government of Dominica developed and implemented a robust framework to ensure the achievement of this goal. The framework includes a National Resilience Development Strategy that sets out the developmental objectives to be achieved by the year 2030, a Disaster Resilience Strategy that outlines the critical pillars required for a resilient Dominica, namely, physical, financial, social and post disaster resilience, a Climate Resilience and Recovery Plan that prescribes the activities to be undertaken to achieve the intended objectives and, a Disaster Risk Financing Strategy.

The Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD), a formal body to spearhead these efforts was also created.

The Government of Dominica has commenced transforming the island into the world’s first climate resilient country, including enhancing public knowledge on resilience, and formulating a strategy which will govern the island’s future efforts at building resilience.

Dominica is pursuing initiatives and is at the forefront of developing and using renewable energy sources. Today, 28 percent of Dominica’s electricity generation comes from hydropower and wind and the country aims to become energy self-sufficient by 2030.

Further, there have been initiatives by Dominica to create a sustainable environment where renewable energy resources are effectively utilised. These initiatives include the granting of concessions on the importation of solar-related equipment and accessories, a solar street lighting project, and most importantly a geothermal project.

Moreover, Dominica in partnership with the World Bank embarked on a pilot project to reduce the impacts of climate change on the country and build resilience to adapt to such impacts. This project termed the “Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project”- DVRP makes linkages to Dominica’s National Climate Change Adaptation Policy, as well as Dominica’s Low Carbon Climate Resilient Development Strategy.

In March 2019, the World Bank approved a US $27 million project to support the construction of a 7MW geothermal power plant in Dominica, which aims to increase the share of renewables and diversify the country’s energy matrix. The Geothermal Risk Mitigation Project will significantly lower electricity costs in Dominica and increase the share of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix from 25 to 51 percent, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 38,223 tons of CO2 per year.

The Dominica Geothermal Development Company Ltd is implementing the project and is financed by a US$17.2 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA), US$9.95 million from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), as well as grants from the UK’s Department for International Development, US$10 million from DFID and US$2 million from the SIDS DOCK Initiative.  Technical assistance is being provided by the Government of New Zealand and the Agence Française de Développement.

Economic Diversification Fund proceeds from the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme are also providing part of the funding.

The DGDC has also decided to build a binary cycle power plant, which whilst more costly than alternative geothermal plant models, is the most environmentally friendly and the long-term benefits far outweigh the additional cost.

In February 2021, Dominica signed a US$12.5 million contract with an Iceland-based company to drill two wells. The plant is expected to be operational by 2023 and will provide electricity to the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, which in turn will encourage foreign exchange.

Solar and wind energy sources also exhibit a high potential to satisfy the country’s energy needs.

The policy for solar power development includes encouraging, where economically viable, the installation of solar energy technologies on all new public sector buildings, commercial buildings, and residences, particularly for buildings that will benefit from those systems in the event of electricity service outages.

Chief operating officer of one of the world’s leading investment migration agencies – CS Global Partners, Micha Emmet, says while the renewed vigour by the American president to tackle climate change is encouraging, “there needs to be much more action from larger economies in the fight against global warming. Small island nations like Dominica should be commended for getting on with the job at hand and should certainly be an example of how to implement tangible changes.”

CONTACT: PR CS Global Partners CS Global Partners +44 (0) 207 318 4343 mildred.thabane@csglobalpartners.com


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