Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Holness sets new renewable energy target

Published:Thursday | October 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) in discussion with James Ellsmoor, director of Solar Head of State, and Alexis Tubb, project manager of Clinton Foundation, at the handover of solar panels installed at the Office of the Prime Minister at Jamaica House on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said he has directed that Jamaica pursues a target of achieving 50 per cent of its energy generation from renewables by 2030.

Under current policy, the country has a target of 30 per cent.

Holness was speaking at a ceremony to mark the installation of solar panels at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Andrew on Tuesday.

The prime minister indicated that the move to install solar panels at his offices was not an academic exercise, but a platform to mitigate what he described as the 'existential threat' of climate change to the environment.

"In 2016, this Government set the not-so-ambitious task of working to achieve 30 per cent renewables in our electricity generation by the year 2030. Back then, it would have seem ambitious. Today, I think we can do much more," he said.

"As you would have heard, I have given direction to a more ambitious target to reach 50 per cent of our electricity generation from renewables by 2030. I think that is doable and it is not just the competitive spirit within me, but really the reality that we have to pay attention to," the prime minister said.

Holness noted that though the Caribbean emits less than one per cent of greenhouse gases, persons should not get caught up in the blame game, but instead should do what they can to protect the environment.

"For us, climate change is not a seasonal change, for us, climate change is an existential threat. It is not an academic debate, we don't have that luxury," he declared.

"The people who will be on the front line from any catastrophe of our environment will be small island developing states like Jamaica. The ignorance of the threat is not on those who for political or academic reasons decide to be blind to it, it is also for those who will be impacted by it, but are too poor to have the information and understand it," he said.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com