Barbados has copped the Green Destinations Story Award for Environment and Climate at one of the world’s largest travel trade shows, ITB Berlin.
The nomination came from Barbados’ ambition to be the first island in the Caribbean to achieve a 100 per cent renewable energy goal by 2030 and a 70 per cent carbon neutrality goal by 2050. The strides taken thus far have landed Barbados its first milestone in this prestigious category, namely having the largest fleet of electric buses in the Caribbean.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill, proudly accepted the award in Germany on March 7, 2023, expressing gratitude to Green Destinations.
“The fact that as a small island developing state we have been able to beat out a field comprising of 100 countries says a lot about who we are and where we want to be. Our Prime Minister, the Honourable Mia Mottley, has been a trailblazer on the international scene, advocating in particular for small island developing states to ensure that we not only build resilience but also stress the awareness and impact that climate change has on Barbados,” Minister Gooding-Edghill stated.
The Green Destinations Story Awards celebrates the most inspirational initiatives for sustainable tourism development, promoting 100 destinations as inspiring examples for other destinations, tour operators and visitors.
The Tourism Minister referenced the Barbados National Energy Policy 2019-2030, which outlines six goals to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
“Our policies at the government level have caused us to be where we are today, so I really want to say that this award is for Barbadians, this is about Barbados and its leadership in the field of resilience and climate change,” Mr. Gooding-Edghill added.
Among the most significant accomplishments, Barbados currently has a fleet of 49 electric buses. As Barbados transitions to greater use of solar energy, almost 43 per cent of the island’s grid is run on solar power, a remarkable feat in peak and non-peak periods. Over 25,000 of streetlights island wide now use LED bulbs to further reduce Barbados’ carbon footprint.
Portugal and The Philippines placed second and third in the Environment and Climate category. The award is a promising step in Barbados’ fight to become the first carbon-neutral small island.