Jamaica chairs regional climate change body

Jamaica chairs regional climate change body

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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JAMAICA has assumed chairmanship of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs), a development which the Government sees as an opportunity to advance its position of leadership on issues of climate change in the region.

The 5Cs is a self-funding arm of Caricom that is tasked with coordinating the region's response to the projected impacts of climate change, climate variability, and sea level rise through adaptation and mitigation measures, a recent release from the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change said.

It acts as a centre of excellence by providing forecasts and analyses of potentially hazardous impacts of both natural and man-induced climatic changes on the environment, and creating programmes which provide opportunities for sustainable development, it continued.

The centre reportedly opened in 2005, and up to 2015 had mobilised upwards of US$25 million for projects and programmes.

Jamaica's chairmanship took effect September 23 and is expected to run for two years in the first instance. According to the release, the lot has fallen to Una-May Gordon, principal director of the Climate Change Division of the newly created Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change.

Gordon has been the Government's representative on the 5Cs board since 2019, the release said.

Portfolio Minister Pearnel Charles Jr reportedly said Jamaica's leadership at the 5Cs means that the country, having advanced its own climate agenda, will be able to provide leadership across the region and leverage it with its leadership on the global stage.

“It also means that we will be able to share best practices across the region, and in the new dispensation, we will have a pivotal role to play by helping to shape the post-COVID agenda for the region with regards to climate change.

“Those are the most significant things that I see happening under this chairmanship,” said Charles Jr.

Meanwhile, Gordon said Jamaica's ascension to the helm of the 5Cs is symbolic since it was at a Heads of Government meeting in Kingston that the climate change centre was launched in 2005.

“It is instructive that having been launched here, and having participated in the activities of the centre, even while not being part of its governance structure, Jamaica is assuming this role in this pivotal year also as it reflects on its 25th year of ratifying the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change],” she said, referencing the international environmental treaty that gave birth to the climate change movement.

Jamaica succeeds Barbados, which held the chairmanship position for 14 years. The 5Cs day-to-day operations are managed by Executive Director Dr Colin Young.

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