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CWR NEWS BULLETIN. GOVERNMENT OF ARUBA AND CARBON WAR ROOM BID TO FLIP CARIBBEAN ISLAND OFF FOSSIL FUELS   “My vision is to create a social and economic resilience for Aruba that will improve the health, happiness and wellbeing of its citizens. I believe that today’s partnership will propel Aruba to the next level in our progress toward achieving sustainability,”  Mike Eman, Prime Minister, Aruba
The Government of Aruba and the Carbon War Room announced a partnership to transition the island to 100% renewable energy today during the UN’s Rio+20 talks. The partnership would make Aruba the world’s first sustainable energy economy, with the Carbon War Room and New America Foundation working to both devise and implement an integrated strategy for the economy-wide transition – a world first, if successful.  The partnership will bring together the project expertise and political will to create and implement a fully integrated strategy for sustainable prosperity. A sustainable growth roadmap will be developed consistent with Aruba’s consensus driven policy-making approach of “social dialogue”. Preliminary action areas include: • TRANSPORT — Implement new low emission technologies and strategies, and create world-class walkable destinations for tourists and residents,  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY — Incentivize household and commercial energy efficiency retrofits, • WATER MINIMIZATION — Water minimization measures for industry and households: Aruba desalinates 100% of its water, • RENEWABLES — Implement smart grid and commercially viable renewable generation technologies: The high price of petroleum on islands means that a wider range of technologies are commercially viable, • TOURISM — Implement a sustainable approach to smart growth in the tourism sector to create an inspirational holiday destination,  • AGRICULTURE — Create an agriculture sector in Aruba that makes the best use of water resources: Currently, Aruba imports 100% of its food. Although sustainability and low carbon plans aren’t new to island economies, successful implementation is. Carbon War Room’s Smart Island Economies operation - which was also launched today -  aims to develop a successful model for low carbon plan implementation, and replicate across other Caribbean and Pacific islands that wish to take that pathway.  It plans to attract top tier technology companies to work on Aruba, and hopes to attract philanthropic funding at the early stages to catalyse private investment.  “I am thrilled that Carbon War Room can help make a difference for Aruba and its people. I believe that market solutions to climate change can bring major benefits to all in every corner of the world – and look forward to seeing the progress on Aruba.” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Carbon War Room. The announcement was made today at Vision 20/30: Partnership for Islands event at Rio+20, Brazil by Sir Richard Branson and Aruba PM Mike Eman. The event was co-hosted by the Carbon War Room and Climate Institute. The event witnessed other island economies make strong commitments to achieve energy independence.
Aruba – Its Renewable Future  Aruba is a 33 km-long island of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, located 27 km north of the coast of Venezuela. It is one of the four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, together with the Netherlands, Curacao and St Maarten, whose citizens share a single nationality: Dutch citizen. Aruba enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean region including a low unemployment rate. About three quarters of the Aruban gross national product is earned through tourism or related activities.  The Government has an ambitious agenda in place to increase the use of renewable energies. Aruba already has made significant advances towards sustainability with 20% of its energy needs supplied by wind power and several solar projects in development as well as innovative urban renewal projects designed to promote greater social cohesion of its neighbourhoods. Since 2009, Aruba has reduced import duties on solar panels, wind turbines and energy saving domestic appliances and on electric and hybrid cars.
CWR is a global entrepreneur initiative set up by Sir Richard Branson that accelerates entrepreneurial solutions to deploy profitable, scalable clean technologies. It focuses on breaking down market barriers for capital to flow to entrepreneurial solutions, and takes a global sector-based approach. As a registered US non-profit, CWR has no vested or financial interest in the partnership announced today. Contact: