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The Caribbean selected for World’s First Climate-Smart Zone

26 countries and 40+ private sector partners create coalition to fast track climate action across the Caribbean. Bill Gates, Clinton Foundation, PwC and more on board.

(L – R) Dr. Angus Friday, Advisor, Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator, Luis Alfonso de Alba, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mexico, Jorge Familiar Calderon, Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, World Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Christy Butcher, CEO & Founder, Writing Legends, Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson-Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, The Honourable Usain Bolt, 8 Time Olympic Gold Medallist, H.E. Didacus Jules, Director General, OECS, Dr. Neville Bissember, Adviser to the Secretary General, CARICOM, and Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of Agriculture, Belize

Kingston, Jamaica, August 9, 2018. A ground-breaking partnership to support the Caribbean’s ambition to become the world’s first ‘climate-smart zone’ launched today at University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. The world’s fastest sprinter, the Hon. Usain St. Leo Bolt, was in attendance to help fire the starting pistol for the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator, which will be led by regional leaders to create the world’s first climate-smart zone.

The Accelerator has created an unprecedented coalition including 26 countries and over 40 private and public sector partners like Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Zero Mass Water which will implement climate solutions for resilience, renewable energy, development of sustainable cities, oceans and transportation. This climate-smart zone will not only protect the region but create jobs and a new economy in climate-smart infrastructure.

  • Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno, Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Familiar, announced the launch of the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator to a captive audience of researchers, regional heads, members of the diplomatic corps and key stakeholders in UWI’s Assembly Hall.

  • The Accelerator’s ambitious goal is to work with this unprecedented group of partners to make the Caribbean the world’s first climate-smart zone.
  • The coalition behind the Accelerator has grown to 26 countries covering a region of 1 million square miles and over 40 million people;

  • Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest sprinter and eight-time Olympic champion, announced the Accelerator’s annual climate-smart ‘Speed Award’ which will recognize the best countries, businesses and individuals working towards a climate-smart zone. He humorously prompted Jamaica’s Prime Minister to defend the “world’s fastest” label.

  • The Inter-American Development Bank announced that it will partner with the Accelerator to program and implement US$1 billion in funds that it pledged at President Macron’s Paris One Planet summit.

  • Grammy award-winning musician Sean Paul announced as Caribbean Accelerator Ambassadors. They will be promoting the Accelerator’s call for climate-smart action in the region and globally.

For snippets of Sir Richard Branson and the Hon. Usain Bolt speeches, click here.

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