IDB Annual Meeting Presents New Low Carbon and Sustainable Energy Initiatives

20 March 2012: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Annual Meeting highlighted a series of projects to benchmark, map and disseminate low carbon initiatives in the region, to support sustainable cities, as well as to promote sustainable energy sources in Central America and the Caribbean.

The meeting, held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from 16-19 March 2012, included the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of IDB, as well as a series of seminars and parallel events. Among these, a seminar launched the Climatescope, a new knowledge-management report, developed with Bloomberg New Energy Finance to profile the potential for climate-change related businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), through an annual report and benchmarking index covering the entire region, consisting of a general overview of the state of “new-energy” projects and individual country profiles. Each country will be described and ranked on: financial criteria, such as clean energy investment levels, availability of local and international finance, or cost of capital; carbon markets (small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) benefiting from carbon markets, cost of registering a carbon project, and number of companies in greenhouse gas (GHG) registries); regulatory framework (subsidies, policy and infrastructure); and enterprises and value chain (number of SMEs in the clean energy value chain, and number of clean tech start ups).

Regarding SMEs, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) also announced a €3 million contribution to the GREENPYME initiative in Bolivia, Honduras and Nicaragua, a project to provide SMEs with know-how, tools, as well as technical and financial support for implementing energy efficiency measures and clean technologies.

Also during the meeting, IDB and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) pledged US$600 million in financing for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Central America and the Caribbean, that will benefit Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and Suriname. Under this agreement, projects in the areas of hydroelectric power plant rehabilitation, photovoltaic power generation, and installation of energy saving facilities and equipment is being considered and financing opportunities for geothermal power generation will be explored.

The meeting also saw the launch of a new interactive tool allows users to visualize the impact of IDB projects in the region. The MapAmericas platform features interactive maps of the region's countries that provide detailed information on active IDB projects, ranging from data showing where and how money is being invested, to multimedia stories describing the development impact on communities.

Finally, within a seminar on "Emerging Sustainable Cities Initiative: From Diagnosis to Action," held on 20 March, IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno announced the expansion of the Initiative to include at least one city in each of its 26 borrowing member countries. In addition, the Bank will enable donor governments, firms, and foundations to sponsor the participation of additional cities. The goal of the initiative is to form alliances with cities wishing to develop long-term strategies for sustainability in environmental, fiscal, and urban management, and to plan for the impacts of climate change. [IDB Annual Meeting Website] [IDB Press Release on Nordic Development Fund] [IDB Press Release on JICA Energy Financing] [MapAmericas Platform] [Emerging Sustainable Cities Initiative: From Diagnosis to Action]