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UNEP scoping study recommends incentives for green economy initiatives

Published:Wednesday | March 23, 2016 | 3:00 AM
Vaz

A green economy scoping study for Jamaica, authored by the United Nations Environment Programme, has recommended that the country explore options for incentivising initiatives.

A green economy is described as one that aims at sustainable development without environmental degradation.

"Even within the fiscally constrained environment, the Government of Jamaica does have options for incentivising green-economy initiatives," the study said.

Some of the options for incentives laid out in the study include concessional prices for land, easing the costs of doing business, and sourcing international green financing at concessional rates for on-lending.

According to the study, the programme of incentives should be complemented by easily implemented regulations that manage the impact of economic activities and waste disposal on the environment.

AFFIRMING COMMITMENT

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, who was presented with a copy of the study, affirmed the Government's commitment to environmental protection and the development of the green economy.

"We recognise that sound environmental management and healthy ecosystems are pivotal to the country's socio-economic development. We firmly believe that wealth and economic stability must not come at the cost of the environment, or create social inequality," he said.

He also said that the study is a useful guide to the value of the green economy in providing a robust engine for economic growth.

"This is in keeping with the tenets of our ministry. It is a generator of jobs, which is a vital strategy for the elimination of poverty, and a pathway to prosperity for our people and our country," he added.

He further pointed out that the green economy policy papers will strengthen Jamaica's commitment to sustainable development.

"They provide a response to the challenges facing the country such as poverty, inequitable sharing of the growing prosperity, and environmental degradation," he said.

While he affirmed the Government's commitment to establishing a green economy, Vaz called on the private sector to embrace green-economy initiatives.

"We must advocate for greater involvement and renewed commitment by the private sector in terms of their environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility. I, therefore, call on the leaders of the private sector and on all corporate entities to fully embrace the green economy and other environmental initiatives," he said.

andre.poyser@gleanerjm.com