Today, Vice President Harris announced the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030). PACC 2030 is the Biden-Harris Administration’s new initiative involving fresh commitments to — and integration of — climate adaptation and resilience and clean energy programs across the Caribbean region. The Biden-Harris Administration recognizes the unique and evolving climate and energy challenges facing Caribbean nations, and we are committed to working together on solutions. This comprehensive, adaptive, and goal-oriented approach will support our Caribbean neighbors in addressing energy security and climate adaptation and resilience with the urgency these challenges demand.
The Caribbean is on the front lines of the climate crisis, including sea level rise that threatens low-lying islands and exacerbates storm surge associated with hurricanes. The climate crisis is also compounding the challenges facing Caribbean nations as a result of COVID-19-related economic disruptions. Addressing energy security and building climate resilience can unlock new opportunities and safeguard communities.
PACC 2030 establishes a framework to elevate U.S. cooperation with Caribbean countries to support climate adaptation and strengthen energy security, while building the resilience of critical infrastructure and local economies to the climate crisis. PACC 2030 will serve as the U.S. government’s primary mechanism for regional climate adaptation and resilience and energy cooperation through 2030, as we work toward meeting the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This approach recognizes that all countries in the region are vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events and require support to address these challenges.
Our collaboration under the PACC 2030 framework will advance two strategic objectives:
- Strengthening Energy Security: The United States will partner with Caribbean nations and regional institutions to promote stable access to clean energy resources and resilient energy infrastructure on a timely, sustainable, and affordable basis. This includes enhancing the resilience of the region’s energy systems to both natural and manmade shocks, from hurricanes to oil price spikes.
- Promoting Climate Adaptation and Resilience: The United States will collaborate with governments in the region to enhance the Caribbean’s adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change; facilitate access to climate-smart services, tools, and technical assistance; and support the design and development of climate-resilient infrastructure.
To achieve these objectives, PACC 2030 will organize its activities and programs under four pillars:
- Improving Access to Development Financing: Recognizing that access to financing is critical to achieving the region’s climate and clean energy objectives, PACC 2030 will work to expand existing access to project financing and unlock new financing mechanisms to support climate and clean energy infrastructure development in the region. Key actions under this pillar will include increasing U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) financing for climate and clean energy projects in underserved Caribbean countries, as well as collaborating with multilateral development banks (MDBs) and multilateral climate and environmental trust funds to improve the policy environment and unlock access to additional infrastructure financing, for the Caribbean.
- Facilitating Clean Energy Project Development and Investment: To attract private investment in clean energy infrastructure and climate adaptation projects in the region, PACC 2030 will support the development of bankable infrastructure projects, promote sound regulatory policies, build project pipelines, and facilitate investment opportunities. Key actions under this pillar will include the establishment of a new PACC 2030 Investment Facilitation Team and a new PACC 2030 Technical Assistance Program that can help mobilize private investment and partner with electric utilities and regulators to integrate more clean energy into Caribbean power and transportation systems.
- Enhancing Local Capacity Building: With the goal of enhancing local capacity to assess, plan for, predict, mitigate, and respond to extreme weather events and related risks in a changing climate, PACC 2030 will increase access to and effective utilization of climate and weather information and decision-support tools. Additionally, PACC 2030 will establish clean energy and climate-focused educational exchanges, internships, and trainings to support pathways to careers in climate adaptation and clean energy. Key actions under this pillar will include providing access to global climate data and new forecasting tools, as well as expanding the 100,000 Strong in the Americas public-private partnership to the Caribbean.
- Deepening Collaboration with our Caribbean Partners: Leveraging engagements at all levels — from leader-level Summits to technical working groups — to achieve strategic objectives, PACC 2030 will focus on translating high-level climate and clean energy political commitments to policy roadmaps, implementation plans, and concrete outcomes. Key actions under this pillar will include collaboration with the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) and the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation; participating in the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum to elevate technical engagement on clean energy and transportation development in the region; and collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Regional Security System, and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology on climate adaptation and resilience issues.
U.S.-Caribbean PACC 2030 Pillars of Action
- Improving Access to Development Financing:
- U.S. Development Financing: DFC will explore ways to increase access to DFC financing for climate and clean energy projects in underserved Caribbean countries. DFC will ensure integrated collaboration under the PACC 2030 Technical Assistance Program by following up on project-specific technical assistance with financing options. DFC will also seek to partner with the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and other MDBs to enhance capital mobilization and expand access to financing.
- International Financing Mechanisms: The United States will advocate for improved access to international financing mechanisms to unlock additional financing for infrastructure projects in underserved Caribbean countries. The Department of Treasury will (1) explore options to expand the use of MDB debt deferment clauses to create additional fiscal space to respond to economic shocks; (2) be open to extending temporary access to World Bank Group resources following extreme events for climate-vulnerable Caribbean countries that have graduated from MDB financial assistance programs; (3) request that the World Bank improve transparency on the criteria for accessing International Development Association assistance in the event of climate-related disasters; (4) support expanded access to blended financing for Caribbean Nations and advocate for robust access to finance for all small island developing states in multilateral environment and climate funds (e.g. Green Climate Fund, Global Environment Facility); and (5) work to extend additional support for Latin American and Caribbean countries through new resources for IDB Invest and, in the context of meaningful structural reforms, the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust.
- Caribbean Development Bank: The United States, through its bilateral grants, technical assistance, and project financing, will expand cooperation with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and will encourage deeper cooperation between the CDB and the IDB and the World Bank on financing to CDB member states. To advance this effort, the United States will explore, including through consultations with the U.S. Congress, membership in the CDB, consistent with U.S. standards for membership in multilateral development banks.
- Facilitating Project Development and Investment:
- PACC 2030 Investment Facilitation Team: The State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources will collaborate with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency to lead the new PACC 2030 Investment Facilitation Team, which will: (1) build a pipeline of climate and clean energy projects in the Caribbean; (2) identify existing funding gaps in renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors; (3) explore opportunities to expand power generation from cleaner sources; and (4) and establish a project facilitation and investment mechanism to leverage greater private sector investment in climate and clean energy projects.
- PACC 2030 Technical Assistance Program: The United States will collaborate with Caribbean national and regional authorities and institutions to promote the goals of PACC 2030 and will explore ways to deliver technical support to develop bankable climate and clean energy projects in the Caribbean. Support under this program will prioritize: (1) conducting feasibility studies and comprehensive analyses to move projects from concept to financing; (2) building Caribbean regulatory and utility capacity to deploy clean energy and operate reliable and resilient power systems; (3) strengthening the use of climate science and analysis for decision-making; (4) developing and implementing climate adaptation strategies for infrastructure development and building codes; (5) implementing climate-smart resource management strategies, such as improved watershed management and climate smart agriculture; and (6) accelerating the development and adoption of climate and disaster resilient approaches in the region’s priority economic sectors of agriculture, water, and blue economy.
- PACC 2030 Roadshow Series: The United States will host a series of project development roadshows and reverse trade missions in the Caribbean to identify and cultivate new clean energy and climate adaptation projects for priority consideration.
- Climate and Clean Energy Reverse Trade Missions: The United States will host targeted reverse trade missions and trainings to present U.S. technologies, solutions, and best practices to key stakeholders to support them in addressing climate and clean energy challenges in the Caribbean.
- Energy Procurement Exchanges: The United States will convene energy sector procurement officials for climate and energy resilience-focused exchanges and visits to the United States. These activities will support Caribbean countries’ efforts to establish procurement practices and policies that integrate life-cycle cost analysis and best value determination in a fair and transparent manner.
- Enhancing Local Capacity Building:
- Global Climate Data, Tools, and Information: The United States will work with Caribbean partners to address region-specific needs for early warning, disaster risk reduction, and climate adaptation, and to provide access to global climate data, tools, and information. To strengthen regional and national partner institutions and fora, the United States will support capacity building to forecast, prepare for, and respond to coastal hazards and extreme weather, water, and climate events; enhance ecosystem resilience; and help develop the next generation of climate-informed decision-makers.
- User-Informed Climate Data Systems: The United States will work with Caribbean partners to make climate information relevant, accessible, and useful for decision-makers in both the public and private sectors to improve their ability to adapt to climate change, mitigate disasters risks, and enhance resilience. Activities will focus on strengthening and expanding user-informed climate data systems to support climate information sharing and use through improved availability and accessibility; increasing the adoption of adaptation plans and coping mechanisms and strategies; and supporting efficient hazard information systems to improve disaster resilience.
- 100,000 Strong in the Americas — Climate and STEM: The United States will expand this signature public-private partnership to include a focus on the Caribbean, which will aim to build institutional capacity and increase access to innovative, inclusive training and student development programs in climate, green economies, STEM, health, and other areas.
- Building Local Island-to-Island Solutions for Climate and SDGs: The United States will facilitate peer-to-peer networks connecting Caribbean climate experts with those of island jurisdictions in the United States and beyond, providing targeted assistance in response to stakeholder needs to advance best practices in climate strategies and data applications to advance 2030 SDG and climate goals.
- Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change: The United States will support climate change adaptation, mitigation, and resilience by working with Caribbean countries to build capacity for designing and managing effective and expanded marine protected area networks. These activities will focus on nature-based solutions to climate change that protect coastlines, sequester carbon, and result in more resilient habitats, living marine resources, and communities that depend upon them.
- Deepening Collaboration with Caribbean Partners:
- U.S.-Caribbean Leader Engagement at the Summit of the Americas: At the Summit of the Americas, Vice President Harris will discuss with Caribbean leaders how to leverage this comprehensive, adaptable, and goal-oriented partnership to further engage the private sector and support the Caribbean in addressing energy security and climate adaptation with the urgency it demands.
- Caribbean Clean Energy and Climate Adaptation and Resilience Events: The United States will co-convene a panel discussion with the Dominican Republic, as the lead of the Summit of the Americas Transitional Energy Working Group, to highlight the key role the private sector will play in the Caribbean’s transition to clean and renewable energy. In addition, the United States will participate in the biennial Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum to elevate engagement on clean energy and transportation development in the region. In consultation with Caribbean governments and partners, additional events will be developed that may include investment promotion, technical and regulatory capacity building and training, and other activities.
- Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE): The United States will collaborate with CCREEE to promote the use of sustainable energy in the region through a climate resilient path that supports economic growth and social development.
- Caribbean Regional Climate Outlook Forum: The United States will work with partners, including the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, to foster joint research, training, and engagement focused on enhancing the Caribbean Regional Climate Outlook Forum and the use of this network to reduce climate risks and enhance resilience across the region.