Elon Musk, Richard Branson and the other power players racing to rebuild Caribbean

Elon Musk, Richard Branson and the other power players racing to rebuild Caribbean
Elon Musk, Richard Branson and the other power players racing to rebuild Caribbean

Caribbean governments must now weigh the pros and cons of these different offers. On the one hand, these countries are so devastated that they simply cannot recover without help.

On the other, I'd suggest it's risky to cede control over your territory by allowing foreign agents to finance rebuilding. China's project funding in African has been dubbed "neocolonialism," because while the country studiously avoids political meddling, its money shapes national development to reflect Chinese interests.

Inaction, however, is not an option. A dozen Caribbean countries were hit hard by hurricanes this year, and climate change promises to keep bringing rising seas and stronger, more frequent storms.

Rebuilding smarter is thus a priority for Caribbean nations, all of which signed the Paris Agreement. That 2015 accord pushes wealthier industrialized nations to commit more money to building resilience, but Europe has shown little willingness to comply with that provision and the U.S is abandoning the entire deal.

Are China, Tesla and Robert De Niro the answer? If the Caribbean can't save itself, who will?

Commentary by Masaō Ashtine, a lecturer in alternative energy at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. He is also a contributor at The Conversation, an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community.

For more insight from On Events contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.

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