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Enviro Topics That Will Be Trending In 2016

Generating towers

                                 Generating towers


Still on a high after December’s Paris climate talks in which 195 countries agreed to implement measures to reduce emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gases with a view to keeping global temperatures closer to pre-industrial levels, local environment interests shared a list of subjects and/or issues they think will dominate the discussions in 2016.

1. At the top of the list is CLIMATE CHANGE. No surprise there.

“With the recent signing of a new agreement that occurred in Paris, the push to achieve a 1.5 in global temperatures is still ongoing, with countries deciding on the most effective methods of implementation to reach this goal. Another is climate financing for climate change and how countries can access this.”


“Climate change and how it affects livelihoods, especially for fisherfolk. The impact of climate change on water supply and health is also a notable topic.”

— Caribbean Coastal Area Management/ Ingrid Parchment

“How climate change is affecting us; the rise in sea level due to global temperatures; along with coastal erosion.

— Meteorological Service of Jamaica/Evan Thompson

“Jamaica’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. JET will be monitoring Jamaica’s commitments under the Paris Agreement and doing some public education in this regard.

— Jamaica Environment Trust/Suzanne Stanley

2. There can be no discussion on climate change without a discussion about RENEWABLE ENERGY.

Scientists are agreed that the primary way to drive global temperatures down is to cut back on the use of fossil fuels and more and more countries, including those in the Caribbean, are beginning to take heed.

— St Kitts & Nevis is working to have a 34mW geothermal system commissioned by 2020;

— St Lucia expects to revive its geothermal explorations and begin construction of a system in 2020;

— St Vincent has plans to commission a 10-12 mW system by the end of 2018;

— BMR Jamaica Wind Limited and Wigton Windfarm are expanding their wind projects in Jamaica, with the former adding 36.3 MW while the latter, Wigton III, represents a 24MW expansion plant. Both are expected to be commissioned this year;

— Non-profit association Solar Head of State is on a mission to have government buildings in the region retrofitted with solar power;

— In February Future Energy Corp will be hosting an energy conference in Kingston with a view to helping realise a roadmap for Jamaica’s energy independence.

3. BEACH EROSION, which is also related to climate change, will remain on the front burners especially in light of the unresolved Negril breakwater impasse and the more recent transferring of sand from Negril to St Ann.

4. Portland Bight Protect Area (PBPA) and the fate of GOAT ISLANDS

“Although this issue has gone quiet over the past couple months, 2016 is expected to bring several interesting developments. The expected completion of the North-South Highway in 2016 might turn the focus of CHEC back to their proposed development in PBPA. Additionally, the framework agreement on the Goat Islands project between the GOJ and Chinese Government expires in August 2016 — whether that agreement will be renewed is something to watch.

The JPS LNG plant, which is also slated for the PBPA, could have significant environmental impacts. The way the approval of that development is dealt with will set a precedent for the types of activities allowed in the protected area.”

— JET/ Suzanne Stanley

5. The state of Jamaica’s GARBAGE DUMPS and solid waste management

“As we approach the one-year anniversary of one of the largest dump fires in Jamaica’s recent history, the state of solid waste management will continue to be under scrutiny. Will improvements at Riverton continue to be implemented? Will the management avoid a fire this year? What about the other dumps in Jamaica? Retirement in Montego Bay was recently set ablaze. What is being done about the management issues at this and other dumps outside of the KMA? Jamaica’s dumps continue to be operated without environmental permits.

6. Drought/flooding

Flooding events is also on the list of topical issues for this year, as is drought. The latter period will possibly be extended towards the end of March or April, as a result of the very small amount of rainfall received in the island.

— Meteorological Service of Jamaica/Evan Thompson

7. National air and water quality standards

“This is one of the major advocacy campaigns JET will be focusing on this year. JET has recently conducted a health survey in three Jamaican communities affected by mining and quarrying. The results show the need for improvements in national air and water quality standards, and for the proactive dissemination of monitoring reports by the regulatory authorities.

— JET/ Suzanne Stanley

8. Bauxite mining/Cockpit country

The unresolved issue of the borders of the Cockpit Country reserve are expected to become topical again this year, with Windsor Research Centre pledging to continue protesting Noranda’s push past the Madras/Caledonia crossroad near Bryan Castle in St Ann under a Special Mining Lease.



Category/ies:Jamaica News, News, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Waste to Energy.
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