We are but two short weeks away from the UN's global World Environment Day celebrations on the 5th of June. This year, the theme focuses on the impacts of climate change on Small Island Developing States, our "canary in the coal mine" for what all low-lying and vulnerable areas will face in the not too distant future.
I am really looking forward to heading to Barbados, this year's WED host country, to witness first hand the problems the island is facing and the creative solutions it is coming up with to adapt to these challenges. Barbados, a 430-square kilometer nation with a population of 270,000, is considered to be highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change -- from agricultural impacts to the destruction of its coastal ecosystems.
However, this small nation has taken big steps to reduce its climate footprint and to provide clean, renewable energy, and opportunities for green economic growth, to its people. Among other things, it has pledged to increase the share of renewable energy across the island to 29 percent of all electricity consumption by 2029. This would cut total electricity costs by an estimated $283.5 million USD and reduce CO2 emissions by 4.5 million tons, according to the government.