Govt still bullish on blue carbon credits, assures PM

Pursuing public-private partnerships, repurchase agreements and blue carbon financing among govt’s top priorities

The government is still banking on the use of blue carbon credits as a form of raising capital, Prime Minister Philip Davis indicated yesterday, although he did not reveal when and by how much the country will benefit from the highly touted revenue source.

Last year, the government announced that it would be in the position to launch the country’s first blue carbon credits from Bahamian seagrass by the end of 2022, once they have been verified under the Voluntary Carbon Standard, which provides a robust, global standard and program for the approval of credible voluntary offsets.

During his speech as he raised debate on the Fiscal Strategy Report and Public Debt Management Strategy in the House of Assembly yesterday, the prime minister said pursuing the use of non-traditional financing mechanisms, such as repurchase agreements, public-private partnerships and blue carbon financing are among the government’s top priorities over the near to medium term.

“My administration has taken a a leading role globally in advocating for the adoption of innovative climate financing solutions. We have therefore embarked on an innovative strategy to commercialize the blue carbon credits generated from marine preservation. This capitalizes on previous investments to protect the marine environment, as well as provide new sources of revenue,” he said.

“We have procured expert scientific support to help us assess the quantum and value of domestic sea grass meadow carbon sequestration. To date, expert scientific assistance has been procured to aid in assessing the quantum and value of domestic sea grass meadow carbon sequestration.”

Researchers have estimated that The Bahamas’ seagrass meadows are possibly the second largest in the world.

Without knowing the full scope of Bahamian blue carbon assets, experts have estimated that The Bahamas could benefit as much as $375 million from carbon credits per year.

Davis said the government will also capitalize off of the green economy.

“In the land-based green economy, which is closely tied to our marine-based blue economy, we are continuing to increase government support to farmers and fisherman,” he said.

“The various grants and concessions granted will all combine to promote greater food security in our country. We look to the continuing proliferation of innovative ventures, such as Eeden Farms, which is focused on hydroponic food production and its planned $60 million expansion by year end-2023.”

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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