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Commonwealth helps Jamaica secure $500,000 climate grant

8 October 2019

The Commonwealth has helped Jamaica secure a grant to assist it towards establishing the first ever Caribbean green bond.

The grant, valued at over $500,000, will pay for a ‘readiness initiative’ involving an analysis of the development and operation of a green bond market and the creation of regional green bond guidelines in accordance with international standards.

Green bonds are a way for issuers to raise money specifically for climate-friendly projects such as clean transport and renewable energy. Launched in 2007, green bonds have become an increasingly popular vehicle to fund climate-smart projects. Last year, a cumulative $580 billion of green bonds were sold globally.

The Green Climate Fund approved the grant and presented it to the Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness on 7 October.

Commonwealth’s National Climate Finance Adviser in Jamaica, Katherine Blackman, assisted the country with the successful grant application.

She said: “In the Caribbean, green bond markets can potentially attract local and international institutional investors that can leverage support for climate resilience and low carbon development.

“The green bond readiness initiative initially emerged during GCF-Caribbean Private Sector Engagement Workshop led by Jamaica's National Designated Authority in April this year, at which a regional study showed the use of bonds as a way to leverage private finance.”

During the workshop, the Jamaica Stock Exchange expressed an interest in offering green bonds to attract capital flow and afterwards launched the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange.

She continued: “The Jamaica Stock Exchange is positioning itself as a leading entity in innovative finance for the private sector through the promotion of social capital markets.”

The two-year initiative will also provide mentorship support to develop a green bond market in Dominica.

Following the initiative, Jamaica will submit a proposal to the Green Climate Fund to establish a green bond facility in the country.