Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Earth Today | Canada urges private sector support for climate resilience in Jamaica, Caribbean

Published:Thursday | July 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Jones

THE HIGH Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica Laurie Peters has urged private sector investment in climate resilience building in Jamaica and the Caribbean in order to safeguard long-term sustainability.

"While important as a catalyst, donor and government support alone is insufficient to address the climate challenge facing the region. We believe that the private sector is key to this effort," she said.

Peters was addressing a recent workshop hosted by the high commission in Kingston on the role of gender in building climate change resilience.

She affirmed Canada's commitment to Jamaica and the region on the road to enhancing resilience, with $100 million already pledged for Caribbean reconstruction and climate resilience after the region's brush with extreme hurricanes last year. They have also committed $2.65 billion to supporting developing countries transition to "low-carbon, sustainable and, most importantly for Jamaica, climate change adaptation and mitigation and the building of resilient economies".

Still, more is required.

"Canada is experienced in delivering in climate mitigation and adaptation projects and is able to support building climate-resilient infrastructure in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean," Peters noted.

"Canada knows how strong and resilient Caribbean communities are. You have demonstrated, so many times, your capacity to recover and rebuild. But we all know that we need longer-term solutions to Caribbean vulnerability," she added.

Peters is not alone in her view point. Eleanor Jones, managing director and consulting principal at Environmental Solutions Limited, has long championed the need for private sector involvement in climate change response and environmental sustainability more generally.

"We have to bring the environment from backwater to mainstream. It is not just a little add-on that people should care about. It is a fundamental business issue, it is a fundamental development issue and climate change features prominently," she told The Gleaner ahead of the organisation development transformation conference, hosted by the Caribbean Centre for Organisation Development Excellence last month.

"I am looking at health and disasters that dislocate your economy and infrastructure. We have to begin to take our environmental risk very seriously," the environment and development specialist, who is also a member of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, added at the time.

pwr.gleaner@gmail.com