Climate plans for Bonaire, Saba and Sint-Eustatius in 2024

Bonaire, Saba and Sint-Eustatius, together with the Dutch government, in 2024 will work on their own climate plans. The Dutch government will make 1 million euro available for this. This money is additional to the means that are already available for climate adaptation and mitigation. With the additional money, the islands can start drafting plans with as objective to have these ready in 2024. This is stated in the response of the Dutch government to the report ‘It is never too late’ which was sent to the Second Chamber today.

Image: Casper Douma

The local circumstances will be taken into account in the drafting of the plans. Bonaire, for example, wishes to work towards a climate plan via a climate table. Saba and Sint-Eustatius prefer to work directly on a plan, considering the limited size of these islands.

Several actions will be initiated, together with the islands. Such as the involvement of residents in the climate plans, the formulating of additional knowledge questions and making sure that the information is shared. With as major goal to establish three approved climate plans in the Caribbean Netherlands in 2024.

The 1 million euro to start the climate plans comes from the Ministries of Infrastructure and Water Management, Economic Affairs and Climate, and Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations. This amount will be formalized in the spring budget (‘voorjaarsbegroting’), and will be added to the more than 33 million euro which is already available to make the production of electricity more sustainable on all three islands. Also, the government has committed to establishing one central point that will support the islands with the coordination between the different involved ministries. Consultations will take place in the coming months on how to go about that.

State Secretary Van Huffelen:

“Recent climate scenarios show that Bonaire, Saba and Sint-Eustatius will be confronted with the consequences of climate change now and in the future. Such as a rising sea level, an increase of severe storms, higher temperatures and the damaging and loss of vulnerable coral reefs. My colleagues Rob Jetten (Climate and Energy) and Mark Harbers (Infrastructure and Water Management) and I want to support the Executive Councils of Bonaire, Saba and Sint-Eustatius in tackling the challenges in the area of safety, health, socioeconomic security, economy and biodiversity that they face as a result of climate change.”

Mr. Nijpels, the author of the ‘It’s never too late’ report, has been asked to draft an advice about organizing a climate table on Bonaire and utilizing such an approach for Saba and Sint-Eustatius. A next Dutch government will decide on what the realization of the new climate plans will look like and which additional means will be made available for the Caribbean Netherlands.