SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Council of Ministers (COM) recently received a presentation from GridMarket and the Island Resiliency Partnership about their work in helping small islands in energy transformation towards building resiliency.
Island Resiliency is a Dallas-based public-private partnership designed to support communities on the frontlines of climate change by accelerating their transition toward renewable energy and resilient infrastructure. This comes at no-cost to governments and island stakeholders.
Gridmarket is a New York based company and partner of the Island Resiliency Partnership that leverages its network of donors to accelerate this transition.
Ms. Angelique Gumbs, Head of the Department of the Interior & Kingdom Relations and Mr. Patrice Gumbs Jr, Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of Foreign Relations met representatives of the Island Resiliency Partnership in the margins of the UN organized review of the SAMOA Pathway, a set of strategies for inclusive development, in Apia, Samoa, in October 2018.
This was followed with a mission led by Minister of Justice Mr. Cornelius de Weever, on behalf of the Prime Minister under whose mandate development and recovery lie, to Earth X in Dallas, Texas, in April 2019. Earth X is an international, nonprofit environmental forum whose purpose is to educate and inspire people to action towards a more sustainable future.
During the meeting, the Minister made presentations on the energy and development trajectory of Sint Maarten and its efforts towards building resiliency, post Hurricane Irma. GridMarket and Island Resiliency Partnership are currently working with Palau and Samoa on their respective energy programs and concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Samoa in the margins of Earth X.
The Sint Maarten delegation invited GridMarket and Island Resiliency Partnership to the island on a mission to meet with key stakeholders and to make a presentation to the Government.
During their mission, the team met with GEBE, Bureau Telecommunication Post (BTP), the Chamber of Commerce, SHTA, and various Departments within Government including, the Department for Education Innovation, the Department of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of VROMI.
The two entities are seeking an MoU with Government that will allow them to begin gathering the necessary data to make the most adequate proposals to government. Their proposals are made using factors including climate and weather, energy costs, energy use, local laws, subsidy programs, and physical characteristics of sites.
During their presentation, the team was able to, present to the Council of Ministers real-time data on the energy use patterns of critical infrastructure using the medical center as an example.
Utilizing GridMarket’s databased platform, the Island Resiliency Platform is able to help governments and island stakeholders achieve energy goals, measure their progress, and demonstrate how – and to what extent – they have made an impact. The aim is to do this through a transition to clean, distributed and affordable energy systems.
Discussions during the mission touched on past efforts of the Government towards renewable energy including wind and solar, as well as efforts in the area of waste to energy. The Council of Ministers of Sint Maarten underscored the need to take advantage of the opportunities to improve the living conditions, including the significant cost of energy for the people of Sint Maarten. Discussions on future partnership and the proposed MoU will continue.
Should the Government approve this proposal, Gridmarket will offer the project to their network of international donors and investors for financing. If successful, this initiative would crosscut and address a number of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including #7 Affordable and Clean Energy, #9 Industry, innovation, and Infrastructure, #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, #13 Climate Action, and #17 Partnerships for the Goals.