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Monique Roffey, the primum mobile of this column, is not a girl, she’s a woman, I just couldn’t resist the headline. Literary punters would know her novel Archipelago, won the...

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Innovation Centre to promote green business

Published: 
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Exhibitor Malika Cummings speaks with, from left, Planning Minister Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie and Phillip Paulwell, Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining and Cariri CEO, Liaquat Ali Shah.

A new World Bank–supported business hub, inaugurated in T&T on Monday, will support the growing number of clean energy and climate technology ventures in the Caribbean. The Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC), first of its kind in the region, will help reduce the significant threats posed by climate change through the creation of new green businesses. 

 

Climate change can have a serious impact on the Caribbean. A recent World Bank study highlights how an estimated four-degree Celcius increase in global temperatures would have disastrous consequences, including increased frequency and intensity of storms, coastal erosion, and decline of fresh water resources. Additional research estimated that the cost for the Caribbean could be up to US$11 billion annually, by 2025. 

 

To address the economic impact of climate change in the region, the CCIC will help local companies—working in solar energy, energy efficiency, water management, resource efficiency and agribusiness—become successful ‘green’ ventures through financing, training, mentorship and other services. 

 

“The new CCIC will help turn climate challenges into economic opportunities,” said Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank country director for the Caribbean. “Companies in the Caribbean have the skills and experience to innovate and find environmentally sound and profitable climate solutions the region needs. The CCIC will work with them to make this happen.”  

 

Numerous domestic natural resources such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass can be tapped to move the region away from fossil fuels. By supporting local climate technology companies that make use of these natural resources, the CCIC is expected to cut 20,882 metric tons in green house gas emissions in the first six years of operation—which is equivalent to the exhaust emissions from 4,500 passenger cars per year.