Matthew Samuda calls for more action to tackle climate change

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Matthew Samuda calls for more action to tackle climate change

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Government Senator Matthew Samuda, who led the move to ban single-use plastic (scandal) bags, is now leading the charge for Jamaica to seriously focus on the environment and climate change.

Samuda this morning tabled a motion in the Senate calling on the Government to embark on a process to actively monitor developments taking place where issues of the environment and climate change are concerned.

The motion also calls on the Senate to establish a Special Select Committee to actively monitor, make recommendations, and report to members on developments taking place in the Jamaican society as it relates to the environment and climate change.

According to Samuda, in the wake of Parliament's decision to approve the motion banning single-use plastic bags and certain materials made out of plastic as part of efforts to stem the environmental degradation taking place across the country, it is now time to implement other measures to correct the problems contributing to climate change.

Samuda's motion comes days after Prime Minister Andrew Holness warned that small island developing states, like Jamaica, are among the most affected by climate change.

“These are the states most likely to lose their coastlines and they are the states more likely to be affected by hurricanes or cyclones,” said Holness at the recent launch of a national tree planting project.

Holness underscored that small island developing states are least prepared, both in terms of institutions, and in terms of their fiscal ability, to respond to disasters that may occur as a result of climate change.

“Jamaica is in the forefront of climate action leading through the United Nations (UN) in raising awareness and resources to aid in climate action,” noted Holness.

“Recently I was involved in the UN's Climate Action Summit and the 74th Session of the UN's General Assembly.

“My participation in international forum such as the high level panel on Sustainable Ocean Economy, the first of its kind, ensured that Jamaica was instrumental in helping to create a measurable road-map for using the ocean to provide solutions to climate risks,” said Holness.

He added that Jamaica, as a small island developing state, continues to face the threat of external shocks, particularly natural disasters.

“Climate change is real and we must address it in order to secure our future. Our children are depending on us,” said Holness.

Arthur Hall

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