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United Nations High-Level Political Forum Highlights the Government of Saint Lucia, the Clinton Foundation and Rocky Mountain Institute

Saint Lucia’s work to transition to clean energy with support from the Clinton Foundation and Rocky Mountain Institute’s Islands Energy Program was featured in the Achieving SDG 7 in Small Island Developing States Policy Brief.

New York, NY, July 25 2019 – Last week, Dr. Gale Rigobert, minister for education, gender, innovation and sustainable development of Saint Lucia; Gregory Milne, chief impact and foreign policy officer at the Clinton Foundation and Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) discussed proven approaches and lessons learned during a side event on “Scaling-Up Energy Transition in Small Island Developing States” at the UN High-Level Political Forum.

The forum served as an opportunity to focus on four of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the overlaps between them. The policy brief focused on these overlaps, with emphasis on SDG 7—affordable and clean energy. The objectives of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS)-focused event were to highlight best practices from recent energy transition and renewable energy developments, explore the energy-climate nexus, evaluate sustainable energy progress and solidify lessons learned.

“The key to Saint Lucia’s success was working hand in hand with our utility, where we charted out a least-cost pathway forward, including the introduction of high levels of renewables, which was encapsulated in the National Energy Transition Strategy,” said Rigobert.

“As the threat of climate change looms ever larger, it is increasingly important to highlight the successes of projects in Saint Lucia and elsewhere, so they can serve both as scalable models for other island nations, and as a reminder of the energy transition that the rest of the world should be striving for. This is part and parcel of the work of our Clinton Climate Initiative,” explained Milne.

“Saint Lucia is signaling that island nations, although they are on the front lines of climate change, are not victims of climate change. Rather, they are demonstrating that they are the ones bold enough to show the world the solutions to the climate challenge, in the process creating a replicable and scalable blueprint for the global energy transition,” said Kortenhorst.

The Clinton Foundation, RMI and Saint Lucia’s SDG 7 policy brief also highlighted:

  • In 2016, the Clinton Foundation and RMI partnered with the Government of Saint Lucia and the electric utility Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) to develop the country’s National Energy Transition Strategy (NETS)—a roadmap that outlined how the electricity needs of Saint Lucia can be met over time by implementing projects to transition to renewables while improving grid reliability, reducing system costs and increasing energy independence for the country.
  • Already, the NETS has resulted in the development of a 3 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) project completed in 2018, representing the island’s first utility-scale renewable energy project.
  • Following this project, the lessons learned and expertise gained proved instrumental in considering the implementation of other clean energy projects in Saint Lucia in collaboration with other partners, including a 10 MW solar PV project, a 12 MW wind project and a utility-scale battery energy storage project.

The Clinton Foundation and RMI’s Islands Energy Program have partnered with 14 islands and focus on projects that will accelerate the transition of island economies from a heavy dependence on fossil fuels to a diverse platform of clean energy and energy efficiency while establishing a blueprint for other island economies. Saint Lucia is now working toward a utility-scale battery solar project, increasing penetration of electric vehicles and additional clean energy projects.

Funding for the Islands Energy Program was made possible by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the People’s Postcode Lottery, the Global Environmental Facility, the Government of Norway and key regional partners such as the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Association (CARILEC).

About Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

About the Clinton Foundation

Building on a lifetime of public service, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation on the simple belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, everyone has a responsibility to act, and we all do better when we work together. For nearly two decades, that premise has energized the work of the Foundation in overcoming complex challenges and improving the lives of people across the United States and around the world.

As an operating foundation, we work on issues directly or with strategic partners from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement and service. Our programs are designed to make a real difference today while serving as proven models for tomorrow. The goal of every effort is to use available resources to get better results faster—at the lowest possible cost.

We firmly believe that when diverse groups of people bring resources together in the spirit of true cooperation, transformative ideas will emerge to drive life-changing action.

Media Contacts:

Clinton Foundation:

Rocky Mountain Institute: Nick Steel,