KINGSTON, Jamaica, Nov. 2, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrew Holness, says countries that have profited the most from carbon over decades, have a responsibility to make resources and technology available to others to adapt and transition to low carbon economies.
“This was the basis of the 2009 $100 billion per year pledge, which still needs to be met if the developing world is to achieve our resilience and low carbon emission goals,” Mr. Holness said while stressing that equity is critical to the climate change response.
He was addressing the World Leaders Summit of the 26th Conference of Parties (Cop 26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on Monday (Nov. 1). This global climate change conference, which is being held in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom concludes on Tuesday (Nov. 2).
The Prime Minister further stressed that if developing countries are to have any realistic chance of meeting their climate ambitions, “we need financing that is predictable, less fragmented, and easier to access.”
“For Small Island Developing States, the greater need is for funding for loss and damage, which is necessary for our protection and recovery from disasters, as well as for [climate] adaptation,” Mr. Holness said.
The Prime Minister pointed out, however, that there are creative funding solutions through which Jamaica has benefited. He noted for example, that with grant support from development partners, Jamaica became the first small island state in the world to independently sponsor a catastrophe bond which will provide financial protection against losses from hurricanes.
“Also, with Green Climate Fund (GCF) support we have launched a Green Bond Project with our stock exchange towards mobilising domestic and regional capital to finance resilient infrastructure projects,” he said.
Mr. Holness further informed that in collaboration with the United Kingdom (UK) government, GCF and Oxford University, Jamaica is developing a predictive climate risk tool to identify vulnerable areas and guide the building of infrastructure.
“This will also support sound investment decision-making,” the Prime Minister added.
In the meantime, Mr. Holness highlighted the need for all countries to increase their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) ambition. NDCs are national plans highlighting climate actions, including climate related targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, policies and measures governments aim to implement in response to climate change and as a contribution to achieve the global targets set out in the Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change adopted in 2015.
The Prime Minister noted that despite significant fiscal constraints and development challenges, “Jamaica is acting” in this regard.
“We submitted our enhanced NDCs in June 2020, one of the first countries to do so, and launched our implementation plan last month; we have commenced preparation for our 2050 Long Term Emissions Reduction and Climate Resilient Strategy; [and] our climate-smart agriculture projects are integrating technology and once again attracting young people,” he said.
The Prime Minister noted as well that the country’s mangrove restoration programme is well underway, “together with our efforts to plant three million trees in three years; and our fish sanctuaries and pilot programmes for reef restoration are effectively engaging coastal communities.
“Our actions will determine whether the planet will remain liveable for future generations. Let us all play our part and meet this moment with urgent and decisive action,” he added.
The conference will have the participation of representatives from up to 50 countries, including the UNFCCC Secretariat, the Chairs of the Subsidiary Bodies of the Convention and a number of stakeholders from civil society who play a key role in the fight against climate change or in the transition to sustainable development.