Caribbean’s “competitive advantage” can make it a global leader in renewable energy, green economy
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS — The World Bank is touting the “unprecedented potential” for green economy jobs in the Caribbean and Latin America as it urges the region’s leaders to take action to maximize the potential.
In a new report, the group emphasized the region’s advantage in having a wealth of natural resources unspoiled and readily available to be developed for renewable energy.
“Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has tremendous comparative advantage in the green economy,” the report read.
“Thus, the region has globally — and, perhaps, historically — unprecedented opportunities for new growth and export opportunities.”
This comes as countries around the world have begun racing to be leaders in this emerging market.
In the United States, for example, recent legislation was passed to help pave the way for investments and development in sustainability.
That new legislation is expected to result in hundreds of thousands of new jobs by the end of this year alone, and even more within the next five years.
The World Bank itself just recently provided a loan to Barbados, which has long been a proponent for sustainable development.
Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley has pledged to use the loan to help create job opportunities in emerging blue and green economies.
Development of new markets will create jobs in the Caribbean
The World Bank highlighted growth potential in both renewable energy as well as agriculture in its latest report.
It said, “The region is endowed with vast potential in nonconventional renewable energy, including geothermal, wind, solar, tidal, wave, biomass and small hydroelectric plants that can deepen its comparative advantage.
“…Abundant, reliable and green electricity can be a major competitive advantage in the production of new energy vectors.”
As far as agriculture is concerned, the World Bank said, “LAC’s agriculture sector will need to adapt to the effects of climate change and work to prevent its worsening.
“Fortunately, evidence suggests that many climate-smart agricultural technologies and practices can help the region adapt to climate change and mitigate adverse effects while improving yields and reducing costs…
“These actions can create jobs and develop new markets, particularly in sustainable forestry.
“Ecotourism initiatives may also become attractive as tourists become more concerned about their environmental impacts.”
World Bank report, “The Promise of Integration: Opportunities in a Changing Global Economy”