Caribbean Countries To Benefit From New IDB Energy Initiative

(CMC) – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it will create a financing instrument dedicated to expanding energy access, supporting energy transition, and protecting the climate in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The IDB said that the initiative is a new partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation (RF), pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation to enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish.

The announcement of the new partnership followed a meeting between IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone and RF President Dr Rajiv J Shah, which explored collaboration to accelerate a post-pandemic recovery and green energy transition in the region.

The financing instrument, which will be formally announced at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow next month, will be managed by the IDB Group and will make resources available to both public and private sector projects. It seeks to mobilise more than US$600 million in new investment for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The IDB said that the collaboration will also feature a strong focus on job creation and gender equality, with clear targets to ensure the women are prioritised as beneficiaries.

“The partnership is reflective of the strong alignment of the missions that drive both the IDB Group and RF. The partnership also touches on several of the pillars outlined in the IDB’s Vision 2025 agenda, which outlines opportunities for accelerating the region’s post-pandemic recovery. It is also aligned with RF’s goal of creating a global platform to fight climate change and end energy poverty.”

The IDB president said that “accelerating sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean requires collaboration and we are committed to aggressively working in new ways, with new partners, to reach our sustainability and growth goals.”

“That is why it is my great pleasure to join forces with The Rockefeller Foundation, a renowned philanthropic institution that shares our commitment to protecting people and the planet, and whose expertise and financial resources can amplify our impact in the region as we transition into a new era of green infrastructure,” he added.

The partnership is significant in part because it represents the IDB Group’s first collaboration with a philanthropic foundation in the energy sector, and positions the IDB as a lead partner for RF in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We look forward to working with the Inter-American Development Bank and investing together in the green energy solutions that are critical to decreasing the greenhouse gas emissions worsening the climate crisis and increasing jobs and economic opportunity for people in developing and emerging economies,” said Shah.

“Reliable electricity is critical for every aspect of life today. Our success will enable farmers to increase their yields, business owners to hire workers, children to attend school and study in the evening, families to access modern healthcare, all while ensuring we have a safe and healthy planet for future generations,” he added.

Specifically, the partners will collaborate to close last-mile gaps in energy access and electrification in LAC by advancing energy access through distributed renewable energy services (DRE), supporting energy transition towards net-zero energy systems, and protecting the climate, with a focus on unserved and underserved communities.

The partners are driven by the shared goal of helping the region achieve universal access to electricity by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.