Past and present green economy initiatives, and capacity building and financial mechanisms for the future development of the Barbados energy sector

2012-08-22T12:05:09Z (GMT) by Thomas Rogers Ksenia Chmutina
As with most Small Island Developing States (SIDS), imported fossil fuels make up the majority of Barbados’s primary energy requirements, including electricity generation. As well as using up valuable foreign exchange, this import bill makes the island highly vulnerable to the ever more volatile international energy market. Sustainable development has long been present in the islands ideological mind-set and in 2010 the Government of Barbados signalled its commitment towards becoming “the most environmentally advanced green country in Latin America and the Caribbean”. This paper first describes the island’s present fossil fuel dominated energy sector, as well as past and present green economy related initiatives. It then discusses two key areas of energy sector reform necessary to promote sustainable development: capacity building and finance, highlighting the role that innovative financing mechanisms could play in decreasing the countries reliance on fossil fuel imports.