Written By: Emma Websdale
Renewable-power experts and Caribbean politicians gathered this week to spur on discussion of how islands can transition to clean energy.
The three-day event, called the ‘Creating Climate Change Wealth Summit’, was hosted by the CEO and founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson. Its purpose was to discuss ways in which small islands can reduce their dependency on fossil fuels and help remedy climate change.
The event, organized by the nongovernmental organization (NGO) and think tank named the Carbon War Room, attracted delegates from 13 countries and territories, including several heads of state.
Addressing such pressing regional concerns as soaring power costs and lack of energy security, the summit focused on ways for small island nations to become carbon-neutral by accelerating commercial investment.
The summit hosted a series of workshops at Branson’s home, Necker Island. Workshops focused on implementing renewable solutions in such venues as hospitals, schools, public transportation systems and tourism facilities.
Necker Island, also known as an eco-resort developed by Branson, displays a variety of renewable technologies.
“The last few days have been incredibly productive. The leaders here are determined to take their countries as close to carbon neutral as possible. They will save resources, save money and help people and the planet”, says Branson.
To date, under Branson’s ‘Ten Island Renewable Challenge’, seven countries – including St. Lucia, Grenada and The British Virgin Islands – have committed to scaling up renewable energy.