EDF Hails Island Nations' Plan to Join Global Carbon Market

December 18, 2009


Copenhagen (Dec 18)—Environmental Defense Fund today hailed the move by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to cap greenhouse gas emissions and “dock” into financing opportunities in the global carbon market.

Led by Grenada, a group of island states signed a groundbreaking agreement Friday to work together to increase energy efficiency, lower fossil fuel consumption and adopt hard targets for lowering tons of greenhouse gas emissions from a baseline year.

“This is a dramatic move from rhetoric to action,” said Peter Goldmark, Director of EDF’s Climate & Air Program. “SIDS Dock is an investment vehicle that can finance the islands’ transition from high-cost, high-carbon, largely imported fuels to a clean and more affordable economy.”

“By choosing a course that will quickly lead to hard targets on CO2 reductions, they will be able to take advantage of preferential terms for carbon market access like those contained in the U.S. House-passed Waxman-Markey bill,” said Goldmark.

Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, the Chair of the broader Alliance of Small Island Nations (AOSIS), announced the initiative in Copenhagen. He said clean energy growth will be essential for islands’ sustainable development, adding that these small states need secure financing and cost-effective solutions to make the shift to clean energy.

The initiative, called SIDS-Dock, is an institutional mechanism that would allow island states to plug into carbon markets and generate financing when they take a hard emissions cap. Those funds can then be used to invest in capacity building and logistical resources to transform islands’ energy sectors.

“Small islands have to act boldly because for them climate change is already a matter of life and death,” said Goldmark. “Let’s hope the rest of us take a lesson and move ahead courageously.”

Peter Goldmark / 1-202-316-4914 / pgoldmark@edf.org

Andrea Welsh / 1-202-297-7723 / awelsh@edf.org