Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Earth Today | Vaz throws weight behind climate finance lobby

Published:Thursday | November 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Minister Daryl Vaz addresses world leaders at the international climate talks.

MINISTER DARYL Vaz recently added his voice to the lobby for greater financial support for small-island developing states and others from the developing world whose economies face significant threat from climate change impacts.

"Jamaica has had its fair share of impacts over the decades that have stymied the country's growth and development. Hurricanes and tropical storms have retarded our efforts at achieving our sustainable development aspirations over the years, adversely affecting economic growth, social well-being and the natural environment," the minister said.

"Additionally, we have observed that changing precipitation patterns, including extreme rainfall events, have been having a similar effect. Only recently, we suffered devastating floods from heavy rains, resulting in over J$4 billion in damage and loss," he added.

Vaz, who has responsibility for climate change in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, was addressing world leaders at the recent international climate negotiations held in Bonn, Germany.

"We will continue to advocate and reinforce the need to explore solutions that will build even greater resilience in small-island developing states while simultaneously creating opportunities that will assist countries to recover and rebuild their economies in the fastest possible time after impact," he said.

 

LOSS AND DAMAGE

 

"Recognising the potential for irreversible and permanent loss due to climate change, the Jamaican delegation is advocating for increased efforts to address loss and damage due to climate change, in light of actions that are necessary due to the limits of adaptation," Vaz added.

At the same time, he said implementation of the provisions of the Paris Agreement is critical.

"Implementation of this agreement is now of paramount importance in building resilience through adaptation actions and securing low-emissions development to ensure the global temperature goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius becomes a reality," he said.

"It is clear that the availability of adequate financing options towards progressively increasing mitigation and adaptation efforts is also a critical component towards achieving the articulated targets for Parties, particularly those of vulnerable small-island developing states. In light of this, Jamaica supports endeavours aimed at mobilising investment and climate-resilient initiatives through a further simplification of approval procedures in the Financial Mechanism," he added.

He also stressed the need for capacity building and technology transfer.

"As an island nation, Jamaica recognises that resilience not only lies in using the capital available to undertake physical projects and programmes, but also in the ability of our people to develop their capacities to understand and adopt new ideas and technologies ... it is with the sharing of innovations that Parties will be able to build a sustainable foundation to chart a course leading to carbon neutrality by 2050 and to achieving the aspiration of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals," he said.

- P.W.R