The impacts of climate change and recurrent natural disasters have repeatedly led to development setbacks in the island states of the Caribbean. Their dependence on energy imports is an additional major problem. Austria primarily supports the region via the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in developing institutional capacities and specialist expertise in disaster risk management and renewable energy & energy efficiency.
Since 2007, the Austrian Development Agency has funded the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) since 2013. It also supports the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) as of February 2016, paying particular attention to efficient regional coordination and cooperation as essential elements of disaster risk management.
HARNESSING THE POWER OF RENEWABLE ENERGY
A second major focus of ADA’s work in the Caribbean is on renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREDP) was already launched in 2008 to reduce the dependence of the island states on petroleum or natural gas imports. This laid the policy foundation for the promotion of renewable energy and imparted the relevant know-how. Together with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) was set up in Barbados in autumn 2015. Modelled on the African EACREE, the centre aims at supporting the countries of the region in their energy transition.