Canada wants to help Caribbean become climate-smart region

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica Laurie Peters has announced that her country wants to play a role in the Caribbean's quest to become the world's first climate-smart region.

The Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition is seeking the rapid implementation of a US$8-billion climate investment plan that will transform the regional energy system, build resiliency, drive economic growth, and set a global example.

“Canada wants to contribute to your goal of making the Caribbean the first climate-smart region in the world, and we believe that building efficient, green and resilient today is key to achieving this goal,” Peters declared.

She added that, already, Canada has committed US$2.65 billion towards mitigating climate change issues.

“On a global scale, Canada has committed US$2.65 billion to support developing countries transition to low-carbon, sustainable, and most importantly for Jamaica, climate change adaptation and mitigation and the building of resilient economies,” the Canadian envoy stated.

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

“And this is where Canada can play a role in 'building the future today'. Canada is experienced in delivering on climate mitigation and adaptation projects and is able to support building climate-resilient infrastructure in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean,” she said.

She was speaking at the opening of Build Expo and Conference at Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James on Friday.

The event was held under the theme: 'Build the Future Today'.

Build Expo and Conference was conceptualised by Jamaica Labour Party councillor in the St James Municipal Corporation Dwight Crawford, as a forum to connect the local building development and construction sector with the global reservoir of ideas and innovations that exists, to advance the industry and other related businesses to the sector.

It is also intended to educate and sensitise the Jamaican consumer, about the sectoral trends that are at work so as to deliver more attractive, functional and cost-effective housing solutions to them.

Where the expo serves as a platform for showcasing products and services of participating companies, the conference is a forum for educating the public and advancing the knowledge base of industry professionals.

In the meantime, the Canadian high commissioner expressed pleasure in partnering with the organisers of Build Expo 2018. The Canadian High Commission hosted a panel discussion on climate change at the event on Friday morning.

“The High Commission of Canada in Jamaica is pleased to partner with Build Expo and Conference this year to bring an increased Canadian participation, and I'm especially proud to highlight an increased Canadian delegation this year including a delegation led by Opportunities New Brunswick, [who are] presenting on the programme and exhibiting,” Peters said.

— Horace Hines

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