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Jamaica urges deep greenhouse gas emission cuts

LIMA, Peru — Jamaica has reiterated the need for deep greenhouse gas (GHG) emission cuts by all countries, to stave off the worse impacts of climate change to which the Caribbean is among the most vulnerable. 


“We urge all parties to make every effort to make ambitious contributions that cumulatively will enable us to achieve the global goal of keeping temperature increase to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” Jamaica’s Minister of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill said Wednesday, in his message at the High Level Segment of the international climate talks being held here.
“Jamaica is a small island developing state located in the Caribbean Sea. We are a part of the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean known as GRULAC, a member of state of the Caribbean Community and a member of the Alliance of Small Island States,” he noted.
“This group of countries is, without doubt or contradiction, the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, yet our total emission of greenhouse gases amount to less than one per cent of the global total. This means that collectively we contribute the least to the causes of climate change, but stand to suffer the most,” the minister added.
Still, he said Jamaica, for example, was working to reduce its own GHG emission contributions.
“Jamaica is working on its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions for mitigation actions to reduce our modest levels of GHG emissions in a manner consistent with our development goals,” he said.
According to Pickersgill, this 20th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 20) “represents for us the bridge that we must successfully navigate if we are to smoothly continue on our journey to the destination of a new agreement next year in France”.
To get there, he suggested that more needed to be done as part of laying the foundation for that new agreement, which is to come into effect in 2020 — even as he conceded there are already some encouraging signs.
“We commend the efforts of the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon and the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Ms. Christiana Figueres to engage all heads of state of parties to the Convention to commit for a successful outcome to COP 20 and COP 21 (the Paris talks next year),” he said.
“The pledges of contributions of some US$10 billion to the Green Climate Fund will allow for its operationalisation and sends the right signal to the global community of the importance of assisting poor developing countries in our efforts to tackle climate change. We applaud these crucial steps and re-emphasise that much more will be required to adequately address the needs that exist or are predicted over the coming years,” he added.
Pickersgill said further: “My delegation takes some comfort in the efforts that have been made outside of the formal process. The agreement forged by President Barack Obama of the United States of America and China’s President Xi Jinping is not only remarkable, but also historic, as it shows that cooperation to achieve reductions in greenhouse gases is possible, if Parties can agree to work together. This was also the case when the 28 member states of the European Union agreed to a pledge to reduce greenhouse gases by 40 per cent over the coming years.”
In November this year, Obama set a new target to cut US carbon pollution by 26 per cent to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025 while China committed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 while striving to peak early and boost its share of non-fossil fuel energy to around 20 per cent, according to information out of the US White House (

Category/ies:Jamaica News, News.
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