February 10, 2014 | 5:00 am | Print
Above: Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Seven countries and territories in the Caribbean have signed on to a regional challenge aimed at transitioning the Caribbean to green energy.
The agreements were signed at the Creating Climate Wealth event on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island last week. Branson arranged the conference, which was attended by a number of regional heads of state.
The so-called “Ten Island Challenge” is an initiative of the Carbon War Room, also founded by Branson.
The countries that signed on include St Lucia, the British Virgin Islands, Colombia (for the islands of Providencia and San Andres), the Turks and Caicos Islands, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and Aruba.
Aruba itself has pledged to transition to 100 percent green energy by 2020, and is well on its way to doing so.
As part of the challenge, Branson announced that Necker Island had committed to become “Island Zero,” itself beginning a programme to transition to renewables.
In a statement on his blog, Branson said the leaders at the conference were “determined to take their countries as close to carbon neutral as possible. They will save resources, save money and help people and the planet.”
The Turks and Caicos Islands said the first project the Carbon War Room would advise on was the planned development on the island of West Caicos.
“I am under no illusions that converting some of TCI’s current 100 per cent dependency on fossil fuel will be challenging, but we must work closely with the utility Fortis to see how we and they can build on their initial plans for solar and wind power,” Turks and Caicos Governor Peter Beckingham said in a statement.