Climate Smart Islands

Climate Smart Island ProgramThe Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is currently implementing the “Climate Smart Islands Program” to encourage islands to transition to a low carbon and climate resilient pathway.


Climate change can seem daunting and complex—but we are all in this together. Affordable, scalable solutions are now available to enable countries to become both sustainable and more resilient. The sum of small actions taken at the local level are critical to the ability of each country to fulfill their national obligations and ultimately achieve the ambitious targets set out by the Paris Climate Agreement and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

During the design stage of the CCSIP program, climate change experts in the areas of mitigation and adaptation assessed options for how three pilot islands can support the transition to low carbon pathways.


This assessment included:

  • Developing the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and grid emission factors (GEF);
  • Identifying potential mitigation and adaptation options in key sectors, conducting preliminary studies using cost-benefit analysis and multi-criteria analysis, and assessing the commercial potential and recommended portfolio of activities;
  • Assessing the private and public financing instruments available for reducing GHG emissions; and
  • Reviewing and making recommendations for institutional and legal frameworks to replicate the implementation of similar interventions and/or upscale.


Some of the recommended strategies that came out of the assessment process included:


Adaptation Strategies

  • Improve shelters and make emergency preparedness kits available
  • Based on coastal zone studies, install soft and hard barriers
  • Zoning changes, setback lines and building codes
  • Low impact development
  • Beach nourishment and protection
  • Coastal management and monitoring programs

Mitigation Strategies

  • Energy efficient lightning improvements
  • Solar panel installations
  • Replace absolete air conditioners with new technology
  • Improve recycling facilities
  • Use batteries as energy storage system (for back-up power)
  • Use of solar water heaters and rainwater harvesting
  • Install bike rental programs and make use of electric golf carts
  • Composting plant for organic waste
  • Create a communications campaign to create awareness and participation among businesses and the public


Interested in becoming a Climate Smart Island?



The implementation and hand-over phase included the implementation of a pilot project in each of the following islands:


Climate Smart Island

Harbour Island

Harbour Island

In the spring of 2017, IDB launched a climate change mitigation pilot project to support the installation of energy efficient lighting technology in public buildings in Harbour Island, Bahamas.

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Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker

The tourist community of Caye Caulker, Belize was the first to become a Climate Smart Island through its commitment to transitioning to a low carbon and climate resilient pathway.

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In the summer of 2017, IDB launched a climate change mitigation pilot project to support the promotion of energy efficient lighting equipment in selected public buildings in Tobago.

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