The Caribbean Climate Smart Fund
Most Caribbean island nations have a tumultuous relationship with traditional, fossil fuel–based electricity. It is unreliable — causing power outages during climate-intensified hurricanes. It is costly — stunting local economic growth. And it is unpredictable — due to its dependence on imported fuels.
While the region has seen an increase in climate finance and local interest to transition to clean energy, more than 44 million people in the Caribbean still rely on fragile, fossil-based electricity systems.
Why? Ninety percent of island clean energy projects fail in the “project preparation” stage. In short, the funding is there, but more work needs to be done to effectively get solar panels on roofs and steel in the ground to build real resilience.
While wealthier nations’ commitment to set up a global “loss and damage” fund at COP27 is notable progress, putting the infrastructure in place to support the Caribbean in deploying projects will be as critical as the funds themselves in supporting a clean, just, and resilient future.
Addressing project bottlenecks provides the opportunity to transform livelihoods through clean energy. From The Bahamas to Montserrat, the Caribbean Climate Smart Fund (CCSF) is designed to:
- Reduce environmental footprint: Eliminate 240 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent annually — an impact equal to removing over 51 million vehicles from the road per year
- Gain control of electricity prices: Save US$24 billion annually and reduce price volatility
- Bolster climate resilience: Install stormproof energy systems to provide consistent power for hospitals, telecommunications, and other facilities that are critical during and after extreme storms
- Increase quality of life: Create well-paying, local jobs and enhance air quality
How It Works
The goal of the CCSF is to help finance distributed, resilient, and clean energy projects, contribute to energy inclusion and justice, and create lasting change in project development in the Caribbean. Led by RMI Islands and Lion’s Head Global Partners, the CCSF will be a $150 million investment fund, with an initial target of $75M, and $15 million project preparation facility to accelerate the Caribbean’s energy transition.
The investment fund will comprise a diversified portfolio of utility-scale renewable energy projects, distributed microgrids (often supporting critical facilities), and energy efficiency projects.
Funds will be spread across more than 20 Caribbean islands.* The fund will evaluate projects — for project preparation support and potential investment — based on five critical criteria: financial sustainability, equity, resilience, emissions reductions, and alignment with island priorities.
Case Studies of Impact
Montserrat — Halfway on the Road to 100 Percent Renewables
We spoke with Owen Lewis, project operations manager for RMI’s Islands Energy Program, about what this system means for the island.
How the Storm-Ravaged Bahamas Can Be a Model for Resilient Energy
After multiple destructive hurricanes, The Bahamas has become a model on how islands can become more resilient and reduce generation costs.
What Your Support Means
Across the clean energy projects RMI and local partners have prepared to date and those that have been identified as a pipeline of next projects, every dollar donated to project preparation unlocks $41, on average, in project investment for implementation. This means we can build climate resilience in the Caribbean faster and more effectively.
Ready to join us in building hurricane-resilient communities? Click here.
For more details on the Caribbean Climate Smart Fund goals and structure, please contact Kaitlyn Bunker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Island nations include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.