Countries Nervous - Climate Funding Going at Snail Pace
Albert Daley, head of the Climate Change Division at the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, has expressed concerns over what he says has been a lack of funding from developed countries to assist small island developing states to adapt to climate change.
Developed countries had committed to mobilising $100 billion annually by 2020, to address developing countries' climate change needs.
Climate change funding will also be a crucial element of the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11 this year, which will see countries negotiating to reach a legal binding agreement.
He noted that access to financing will be a critical element for countries like Jamaica to adapt to climate change.
"We are just at $10.4 billion and this is not on a yearly basis but over a four-year period, which means we have been getting little over $2 billion annually. The countries that have proposed to provide funding should have been well advanced by now, which means we should have received $50 billion or more if we are to reach the $100 billion target by 2020. However, this has not been happening, so countries like ourselves are getting very nervous," he told The Gleaner.
"Some of these countries are pointing us to private funding but we don't believe that we should settle for loan financing for something that we are not responsible for. It's a delicate issue at this point and I think there is potential for disagreement in that area come December (Paris Climate Summit)."
He added, "There are some countries with greater responsibility because they benefit most in the process of causing the damage and we suffer most from what they did, so it is reasonable to expect them to make resources available as we don't have the luxury as some of these countries because many of our islands are already going under water."
Doing their best
Daley, however, sought to reassure Jamaicans that they will be doing all they can to seek funding and put proper mechanisms in place to adapt to climate change.
"These are the challenges, but we certainly will not fold our arms. Personally, I do not subscribe to the view that if they don't give us any money, we will not do anything. At the end of the day, we are the ones who will be impacted most and so we have to do what we can as a country to enforce the laws and ensure that everyone plays their part," he said.
Daley charged, "The parish councils and other agencies will now have to be more strident in where they allow buildings to be erected. When persons are building their homes, they have to be mindful of issues such as increasing temperatures in addition to changes in farming practices, among other things. We have to do something."