First Energy Equity Report Shows How Caribbean Nations Can Lead in a Just Energy Future

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In a new report, RMI experts analyze the state of the energy transition in the most climate-vulnerable nations and provide an actionable framework for ensuring an equitable energy transition.

The recommendations in the report extend beyond the Caribbean, as island nations present a testing ground for the rest of the world on designing clean and resilient energy systems in a way that leaves no one out.

A first-of-its-kind report released today by RMI’s Global South Program identifies the electricity access challenges facing Caribbean island nations and provides the energy solutions needed for Caribbean energy stakeholders to build truly climate-resilient energy systems.

Caribbean countries’ energy grids are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of warming oceans, rising sea levels and more extreme weather patterns. They have the fewest resources to adapt to emerging threats, and their problems have been accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely affected their economies. However, Caribbean nations, overcoming circumstances, are uniquely placed to offer the solutions for global, resilient, just energy.

“RMI understands that while everyone is affected by climate change, those most impacted are poor and marginalized communities,” said Jules Kortenhorst, CEO at RMI. “We are actively focusing on equity considerations in our work. This report is part of that effort, providing guidance for Caribbean nations and islanded communities for how to ensure equity in their energy transitions.”

The new report Ensuring an Equitable Energy Transition lays out a path that can help Caribbean nations create a clean, resilient electricity system that works for all. Island nations are poised to become global energy leaders, with a unique opportunity to “write the script” for modern energy system transition. According to Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), an estimated US$9 billion in fuel costs would be saved annually by transitioning all 31 countries in the Caribbean to 90 percent clean energy by 2030. Yet that transition must happen in an equitable way or it will not be successful.

The report examines case studies from Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, Belize and the Bahamas, offering suggestions based on their experiences and applicable lessons for future development in the region. In addition, RMI researchers also present suggestions for future renewables development in the region to maximize equitable outcomes across communities.

The report offers a guide to Caribbean electricity system stakeholders to help them through the most important equity considerations in their energy transition. It includes recommendations for how to:

  • Establish equitable structures and processes
  • Seek and integrate the voices of communities
  • Effectively collect and utilize a wide array of data
  • Design targeted programs and policies based on the unique needs of communities
  • Develop financial mechanisms that help unlock credit for low-income communities

“We hope this report can help empower Caribbean stakeholders as well as other island nations to complete this transition with a better understanding of the most important equity considerations at every step of the process,” said Justin Locke, Managing Director of RMI’s Global South Program. “To the best of our knowledge, this report represents the first to present equity from a Caribbean-specific systemic perspective.”

The recommendations in the report extend beyond the Caribbean, as island nations present a testing ground for the rest of the world on designing clean and resilient energy systems in a way that leaves no one out.

For more information, please visit https://rmi.org/insight/ensuring-an-equitable-energy-transition

Media Inquiries please contact:
Dina Cappiello, at COP26, T: +1 202-415-5642, E: dcappiello@rmi.org
Tierney Sheehan in U.S., T: +1 (858) 735-1169, E: tsheehan@rmi.org

About RMI

RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

More information on RMI can be found at rmi.org or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst.

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Dina Cappiello
RMI
+1 202-415-5642
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Tierney Sheehan
RMI
1 (858) 735-1169
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