Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Funding to flow for climate change project

Published:Monday | January 11, 2016 | 1:00 AM
Robert Pickersgill (left), minister of water, land, environment and climate change; and Lt Col Oral Khan, chief technical director in the water ministry, speak to members of the media during a press conference on the outcomes of the COP21 climate change talks in Paris at ministry’s office in New Kingston last December.

The Paris Agreement will help increase Jamaica's resilience to climate change by making funding available for the country to undertake works on projects such as sea walls, ports, roads, and bridges.

That is according to Robert Pickersgill, the portfolio minister.

Pickersgill, in an article submitted to The Gleaner, noted that the global agreement on the reduction of climate change renewed a commitment by developed countries to provide US$100 billion a year, beginning in 2020, to developing countries like Jamaica to support efforts to combat climate change.

"It will provide financing for projects and programmes necessary for the building of resilience to the impacts of climate change. This includes funding of large infrastructure projects such as sea walls, river defences, ports, roads, bridges, and water production, storage and transmission systems for domestic use and agriculture, and watershed rehabilitation or restoration programmes to protect soils and address the issue of poor soil," Pickersgill said.

"It will also help to develop renewable energy sources like solar and wind power," he added.

It is a long-term goal of holding global temperature rise to "well below" 288C (3.68F) by 2100, and recognises a maximum temperature rise of below 1.58C (2.78F) as an ideal goal.

 

AIM TO AVOID DEVASTATING EFFECTS

 

The objective of the agreement is to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change. The agreement calls for countries to take steps to cap greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, and for the continued reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of this century to meet the long-term temperature goal.

Pickersgill said that Jamaica's climate-change policies are geared at protecting the livelihoods and food security of people living in seven of the island's 14 parishes by improving water harvesting and management, as well as erosion and flood control. He said, too, that the programme will also support climate-resilient coastal management in Negril under the Adaptation Fund.

"The Paris Agreement emphasises that climate change is a threat to human society and that there is a growing need for international collaboration, deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and a framework for the involvement of local communities, people with disabilities, and the empowerment of women, among others," the minister said.

He pointed out, however, that climate scientists have already said that the agreement will not be enough to save many of the world's most vulnerable countries.

He added that climate change is a life-threatening issue which is reflected in the loss and damage to coral reefs, which will impact our fisheries and the fishing industry, our coastline, and our tourism industry.