BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, June 14, 2023: Climate Finance, a necessity for Caribbean countries faced with multiple threats from Climate Change, is the focus of the 2023 William G. Demas Memorial Lecture to be delivered by the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (UNFCCC) Mr. Simon Stiell at the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) 53rd Annual Meeting. The hybrid event will be held at the Sandals Grande Saint Lucian on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, at 7:30 pm AST and live-streamed on CDB’s YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages.
The Executive Secretary’s address will explore key factors determining climate action resource allocation on an international scale, the status of ongoing global climate finance negotiations, and the latest developments on the issue of loss and damage funding for developing economies. The thematic emphasis of the Lecture comes against the background of the Region’s ongoing challenges with the mobilisation of financing to address the accelerating effects of the climate crisis.
CDB President, Dr Hyginus “Gene” Leon said, “The Caribbean is excessively vulnerable to climate change as most of our major industries, and our economic and physical infrastructure can suffer catastrophic impacts from a climate event and the deleterious effects linger long after the initial shock.”
He added, “The Caribbean Development Bank has been vocal in its advocacy not only for increased climate finance for the Region but also for more favourable and appropriate terms and conditions for access, which will enable our Borrowing Member Countries to meet ongoing obligations while funding recovery for shocks. Therefore, the focus of Mr. Stiell’s lecture is timely, and we welcome a fresh voice shedding greater light on this critical issue.”
A Grenadian by birth, Mr. Stiell served his country in various ministerial capacities for almost a decade, before his appointment at the UNFCCC in 2022. His previous roles include Minister for Climate Resilience and the Environment, Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, as well as Minister of State with responsibility for human resource development and the environment. Prior to public service, Mr. Stiell held senior executive positions with various private sector firms in the technology and telecommunications industries. Mr. Stiell trained as an engineer at London Metropolitan University and College of North West London and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom.
The prestigious William G. Demas Memorial Lecture is continually among the most anticipated events of CDB’s Annual Meetings. Recent keynote speakers include Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group in 2022, and Professor Marianna Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value and Founding Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at the University College London founding, in 2021.