DLP COLUMN: Towards a green economy
Extract from speech delivered by Hon. Freundel Stuart Q.C. M.P. Prime Minister of Barbados on the occasion of United Nations Development Conference on Sustainable Development, June 20, 2012
“Today, our world is still a long way from developing sustainably and we have strayed from the pathway we set two decades ago. In addition, we are presently undergoing an extraordinary and unprecedented period of turbulence.
The intersection of sovereign debt, jobs and growth crises places us on the brink of a prolonged global economic downturn . . . . Further, chronic development challenges including poverty, water scarcity, food insecurity, and health issues remain unresolved, or have worsened in the past two decades . . . . I did not come to Rio to remind others of the commitments to which they have failed to adhere, or to tell them what they should be doing.
I am here to tell the world what Barbados has done, is doing, and will do to ensure a safe and secure future for current and future generations.
The track record of Barbados on sustainable development is second to none. My Government has committed to transform Barbados into the most advanced green economy in the Latin American and Caribbean region. In pursuing this vision, we have undertaken a comprehensive study on the policy implications and opportunities of this transition.
This study was conducted through an inclusive, open, multi-stakeholder process involving members of civil society, the private sector and trade unions.
In March this year, I received the final version of the Barbados Green Economy Scoping Study which outlines a clear roadmap and governance framework to enable our transition to a Green Economy . . . .
Barbados has defined the Green Economy as: “An integrated production, distribution, consumption and waste assimilation system that, at its core, reflects the fragility of our small island eco-systems.” We are prepared to share our experiences with other developing countries, especially small island developing states (SIDS) and will utilize every opportunity to do so.
From May 7 to 8 May this year in Barbados, in collaboration with the UNDP, we hosted a high-level conference under the theme Achieving Sustainable Energy For All In SIDS – Challenges, Opportunities, Commitments. That meeting of leaders and ministers from SIDS adopted the Barbados Declaration, which outlines an ambitious and action-oriented agenda for achieving the goal of sustainable energy for all in SIDS.
This represents a concrete expression of our determination to promote transformational activities in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy access and low carbon development.
For its part, Barbados has committed to increasing by 29 per cent the share of renewable energy in the energy mix and, by the year 2029, to improving by 22 per cent its efficiency in the use of energy.
Taken together, these measures will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by four and half million tons as well as realize significant savings of foreign exchange.
Barbados has thrown its full and unconditional support behind the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. We share fully his ambition of achieving the energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency objectives in that Initiative.