PM urges accessible, equitable climate change financing for developing countriesThursday, April 22, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness today called for an accessible and equitable climate finance mechanism to help developing countries attain greenhouse gas emission targets, as he declared Jamaica's commitment to reducing emissions by 60 per cent by the year 2030.
Holness was addressing the opening of a two-day virtual Leaders' Summit on Climate today.
“We, like all Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and many developing countries remain committed to advancing climate action and we are determined to build forward stronger, better and greener,” he said.
Holness said Jamaica is encouraged by the United States' decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement and its announcement that it intends to cut emissions by half.
However, he stated that it was critical that the world's commitment of US$100 billion per year to support climate action in developing countries is not only honoured but that the ambition be increased and major emitters should contribute more to its financing.
He noted that while some progress has been made, “significant hurdles remain” in terms of developing countries having greater and equitable access to climate financing.
“While increasing the quantum of financing is necessary, it will not be sufficient to address the needs of SIDS unless it is accessible and flexible enough to [provide] support for our vulnerabilities,” Holness said.
The prime minister suggested several specific actions that need to be taken in order to ensure developing countries get equitable access, including the establishment of a global disaster fund to help SIDS to recover and manage disaster risks; the development of innovative, risk-informed financing for disasters and climate events; and the inclusion of vulnerability measures as the prime consideration in determining access to financing, rather than only income criteria.
Holness also called for the scaling up of debt for climate adaptation swaps to simultaneously address climate crises and the systematic debt issues affecting already burdened developing countries.
“Jamaica has great sprinters and we know that a great start does not guarantee a win. It requires momentum-building – in this case, an accessible and equitable climate finance mechanism. We have raised our ambition and now call on major economies to step up and sprint with us to the finish line,” he added.
Holness was one of two Caribbean Heads of Government who were invited to participate in the summit convened by US President Joe Biden.
A total of 40 leaders from around the world were invited as key voices in the climate fight.
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