Antigua and Barbuda was represented at the Green Climate Fund’s (GFC) Global Programming Conference in Songdu, South Korea by the Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Molwyn Joseph, the Department of Environment’s Chief Environment Officer, Ambassador Diann Black-Layne and Michai Robertson, GCF readiness Coordinator.
The conference, which was held from August 19-23 under the theme “Realizing Climate Ambitions”, served as a platform for high-level dialogue on how the GCF could assist member states in achieving their climate ambitions.
It was also an opportunity for developing countries to discuss the demand for GCF resources needed to move them to low emission and climate resilient pathways in agreement with the objectives of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement.
More than 500 stakeholders participated in the conference, including more than 85 Ministers of Government, GCF National Designated Authorities, and Accredited Entities.
The GCF currently manages over US $5 billon in climate action projects around the world, which includes US $20 million that is shared between Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Grenada.
Antigua and Barbuda provided participants for two panels. Joseph was a featured panelist on the topic of climate resilient development, which focused on mainstreaming of climate science and risk information in plans, policies and investments to effect systemic change.
Black-Layne was featured on the “Taking Stock” panel, where the discussion centered around progress in the region and sharing key lessons.
During the meeting the GCF also launched it’s “Green GCF Champions Awards” which will recognize and promote the outstanding individuals and organizations driving climate transformation around the world.
While at the meeting Joseph led the Antiguan and Barbudan delegation in discussions on the development of an additional US $55 million in grant funding for two projects. One project will focus on making government buildings Category 5 hurricane ready, including equipping them with renewable back-up energy, while the second project will be to bury APUA utility lines and change water pipe technology to withstand cracking and leaking as a result of soil contraction during severe drought.
As a result of the negotiations the GCF have indicated that they will send a team to Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica to assist the countries in their project development and submission.
The Minister was also pleased to know that the GCF was using the Antigua and Barbuda approved Enhanced Direct Access (EDA) project as a template for one of its programmes. The GCF also expressed an intent to prioritize buildings used for health care facilities for projects, and The Department of the Environment in partnership with UN Environment will be seeking to achieve category 5 standing for all health care facilities in Antigua and in Barbuda. This project will be going to the Cabinet for discussion and for onward submission to the GCF.