Tue | Nov 21, 2017

Vaz appeals to private sector to join climate change fight

Published:Wednesday | October 18, 2017 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Daryl Vaz

Jamaica has joined a number of other small island developing states in accessing financing from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to assist with mitigation and adaptation programmes.

Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, said the grant, which is valued at U$S300,000, will go a far way in improving disaster readiness and other natural events that occur due to climate change. As a result, he urged the private sector to get involved in the fight.

"I'm appealing to the private sector to work with us at the ministry's climate change division, submit your concepts to us and we will get the GCF's response to them. Once you meet the criteria, we will ensure that the GCF support your projects. Let us remind ourselves that no developing country, no small-island developing state, including Jamaica, can fund from their national budget, all the activities to respond to climate change. We must seek assistance from external sources such as the GCF," he said to persons at a signing ceremony which took place at Jamaica House yesterday.

"The grant is to strengthen the capacity of the climate-change division as the national designated authority of Jamaica to engage the fund. Equip the private sector to strengthen their capacity to access GCF resources for increased climate action. The country is engaged in the process of having the Development Bank of Jamaica accredited as a national implementing entity. The bank, in the future, will be able to partner with the GCF to implement projects around mitigation and adaptation activities."

Vaz also advised citizens not to be complacent, as the hurricane season is not yet over.

"I can assure you, therefore, that this support from the GCF can be considered a first step on a journey towards many more others that are in the portfolio, in addition to those in the pre planning stage," Vaz said.

"We have witnessed the many instances of deaths and destruction from the hurricanes that impacted the region over the past months. I caution, however, that the Atlantic hurricane season is not over and we must remain vigilant."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com