Speaking on Earth Day yesterday at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate Change, Prime Minister Holness acknowledged the commitment of world leaders to 100 billion dollars per year to support climate action in developing countries. However, he says, it is critical that this commitment is not only honoured, but that the ambition is increased, and major emitters contribute more to its financing.
At the same time, Holness said: “While increasing the quantum of financing is necessary, it will not be sufficient to address the needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) unless it is accessible and flexible enough to target support for our vulnerabilities. While some progress has been made, significant hurdles remain in accessing climate finance; and the pace of implementation does not reflect the urgency of the climate crisis”.
In that regard, the Prime Minister outlined specific actions that need to be taken:
1) The establishment of a global disaster fund to help SIDS recover and manage disaster risk.
2) The development of innovative risk-informed financing for disasters and climate events.
3) The inclusion of vulnerability measures as the prime consideration in determining access for financing rather than only income criteria.
4) The scaling-up of debt-for-climate-adaptation swaps to simultaneously address climate crises and the systemic debt issues affecting already burdened developing countries.
Prime Minister Holness encouraged all Governments to play their part in achieving this goal and encouraged that the private sector be engaged to increase the pace of implementation.
In the meantime, notwithstanding the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister asserted that Jamaica remains committed to advancing climate action by enhancing its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to target a 60% reduction in emissions by 2030.
Prime Minister Holness, as a global leading voice on climate action, was specially invited to speak at the Leaders’ Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden. The Prime Minister's work on the UN panel for Climate Financing has positioned Jamaica as one of the leaders in climate action and COVID recovery.
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