Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Saving for a ‘rainy day’ takes on new meaning in Caribbean

Source(s)
Inter Press Service International Association

By Kenton X. Chance

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So when the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines announced in 2018 that there was a need to put aside some money for “a rainy day” because of climate change, citizens knew that the expression was both figurative and literal.

In this country, highly dependent on tourism, visitors who stay in hotel and other rented accommodation have to contribute 3 dollars per night to the climate change fund.

They join residents who had been contributing to the Climate Resilience Levy, for over one year, paying a one percent consumption charge. The funds go into the Contingency Fund.

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In just under six hours in 2013, a trough system left damage and loss amounting to 20 percent of the GDP and extreme rainfall has left millions of dollars in damage and loss almost annually since then.

The 4.7 million dollars in the climate fund is merely 18 percent of the 25 million dollars that lawmakers have budgeted for “environmental protection” in 2019, including climate change adaptation and mitigation.

However, it is a start and shows what poorer nations can do, locally, amidst the struggle to get developed nations to stand by their commitments to help finance climate change adaptation and mitigation.

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