The hotel and supermarkets are Grenada’s biggest producer of waste, according to Director of the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA), Lotten Haagman.
She made the statement at a government-sponsored breakfast meeting held under the auspices of Minister for Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information, Senator Simon Stiell, and Minister for Trade, Industry, Co-operatives & Caricom Affairs, Oliver Joseph.
Haagman told participants drawn mainly from the private sector that GHTA has been lobbying for a ban on Styrofoam and single-use plastic.
The high-level meeting was held June 6 at The Radisson hotel under the theme “Government and Private Sector seizing the momentum on climate finance”.
According to a government release the breakfast meeting marks the starting point for a closer cooperation between public and private stakeholders in Grenada when it comes to accessing international funds designated for climate action.
In his opening remarks, Minister Stiell highlighted that “Grenada is presented with a window of opportunity to raise finance for its climate change adaptation efforts but it is uncertain how long this window will remain open so all sectors have to work together to build up to the condition to access these funds.”
During the discussion, a number of persons shared their sectors’ climate change adaptation needs, the efforts that they are already putting in place but also the challenges that they are facing to do more.
Executive Director of the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GCIC), Petipha Lewis-Smith, and Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC), Che Keens-Douglas, indicated that while there would be a willingness from the private sector to invest in climate resilience, access to finance for non-productive assets, such as rainwater harvesting systems, is a challenge for businesses in Grenada.
Keens-Douglas highlighted the need for a combination of stricter regulations and more incentives for investments that support Grenada’s climate resilience objectives as this would give the country more control over the private sector’s focus on a sustainable future for the island.
Managing Director of Quinn Company Ltd, Mike Quinn, called for an upgrade of the building sector’s regulations and provision of guidelines going beyond hurricane proofing and towards water and energy conservation.
General Manager at the National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA), Christopher Husbands, noted that water conservation is already a major concern for Grenada’s sustainable future.
Husband announced that the island has already secured a USD 50 million grant for a water project that will see an improvement of its reservoirs and water management, however a lot more will be needed, in particular investment in wastewater treatment and reuse which are yet to be addressed.
President of the Grenada Organic Agriculture Movement (GOAM), Dr. Dunstan Campbell, expressed concerns for the future of agriculture, and asked particularly for mechanisms to protect farmers from the impact of disasters such as hurricanes which can affect their production for several years.
He identified access to finance as his sector’s single biggest challenge to transit toward Climate Smart Agriculture.
As an answer to the access to finance challenges, Managing Director of the state-owned Grenada Development Bank (GDB), Mervyn Lord, informed the gathering that it was the role of a Development Bank to finance the country’s sustainable future and that they are working on developing more climate resilience financial products to offer to the private sector.
Minister Joseph noted that access to grant funding remains a focus for the ruling New National Party (NNP) government and that the process of obtaining these grants includes robust stakeholder’s consultations leading to the drafting of National Strategies and to the necessary regulations.
He also highlighted the role to be played in this regards by the Department of Economic and Technical Cooperation under the leadership of former MNIB Chief, Ruel Edwards as being extremely critical if Government would be able to secure increase amounts in grant funding.
The breakfast meeting was organized as part of the work being undertaken by consulting firms Climate Analytics and Charles and Associates under the Getting Grenada Green Climate Fund Ready (3G) project.
This mission has four overarching objective to establish initial contact with key stakeholders within Grenada and to assess the current status of the National Designated Authority’s (NDA) readiness in keeping with the prescribed role of the NDA under the Green Climate Fund (GCF) requirements.
It was followed by consultation with the Climate Change Focal Points from different ministries, government departments and NGOs.
The 3G project is co-funded by the Green Climate Fund and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Grenadian Ministry of Finance, Planning, Economic Development & Physical Development partners with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).