Holness says climate change not an academic issue for region

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

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INCHEON, South Korea (CMC) — Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness has told an international conference that climate change issues are “not an academic issue”.

“For us, climate change spells disaster. But if we embrace the challenge, it can also provide an opportunity,” Holness told the second edition of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) global conference on private investment for climate change.

Holness, who recently served as co-chair of the financing initiative at the UN Climate Summit in New York last month, said that Jamaica has partnered with the GCF “to create the first Caribbean green bond listing – which will make us the Caribbean country of choice to conduct smart and sustainable business”.

Caribbean countries have in the past urged developed countries to adopt new measures to lessen the impact of climate change, pointing to the recent hurricanes that have left millions of dollars in damage as well as many deaths.

In addition, the region has called for developed countries to keep their promises and provide the financing necessary to help small island developing states (SIDS) deal with the impact of climate change.

The GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference (GPIC) is a global marketplace and ecosystem where leading private sector actors, including project sponsors, institutional investors, financial institutions, climate leaders, and the public sector, come together to accelerate climate action in developing countries.

The three-day conference is being attended by delegates from more than 100 countries, and is designed to act as an ideas marketplace to explore how to redirect the huge amount of funds held by large banks and other institutional investors into driving climate action in developing countries.

The organisers said that the GCF's decision to hold this second annual private sector-focused forum reflects the fund's recognition that investments by businesses and other financial actors need to be greatly increased if the world is to effectively deal with warming global temperatures.

“Today, the private sector manages more than US$210 trillion in assets, but only a very minor part of it is dedicated to climate finance.

“The conference will stimulate discussions in a number of cutting edge areas in the growing interface between private sector activities and climate action. This includes exploring how to shift the trillions of dollars held by institutional investors, tap climate bonds to fund climate-focused action, and expand the role of financial innovation to boost climate investments in infrastructure, energy and land use,” the organisers added.


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