Climate financing high on the agenda for Jamaica, other SIDS, leading up to COP26Tuesday, July 27, 2021
FINANCING for adaptation not only needs to be scaled up; it must be more accessible.
That is the consensus of participants in the high-level ministerial meeting in London, United Kingdom, where Jamaica's Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change Pearnel Charles Jr is one of five Caribbean ministers attending in person.
On day one of the discussions, on Sunday, concerns were expressed that there was no parity between mitigation and adaptation in respect of climate finance. While there was no consensus on how to achieve this goal, participating countries are open to resolving the matter in the interest of all, particularly vulnerable countries. The parties agreed that the processes of the Green Climate Fund and other financing mechanisms must be amended to make financing more accessible by developing countries.
Jamaica is keen on hearing the discussions on climate financing, as well as the issue of loss and damage, which are expected to dominate discussions on day 2 of the ministerial. Of particular interest is how countries will increase action and support this critical issue which includes financing for averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage — particularly as the hurricane season progresses.
Attention is expected to be paid to views on the promised US$100-billion financing goal, which has been central to the climate accords and is an important symbol of trust. The COP16 Accord states that “developed country parties commit, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, to a goal of mobilising jointly US$100 billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries”.
However developing countries, including Jamaica, are calling for an increase in this commitment in the future to make it more in line with needs on the ground, and in keeping with scientific guidelines.
Day one also featured general acknowledgement of the need to resolve issues relating to the carbon market established in the Paris Agreement, which will support adaptation through portions of the sale of carbon credits – namely share of proceeds.
Innovative alternatives were also discussed, including brief mention of a proposal for a global carbon tax to finance adaptation activities. However, it was agreed that this would need more discussion, including views on how this measure would affect or benefit developing countries such as Jamaica.
There was also consensus that the pathway to maintaining 1.5 degrees needs to be enhanced and that taking action now was more important than mere slogans.
Global warming limited to 1.5 degrees is the point ascertained by scientists that will hold off some of the worst climate impacts and avoid irreversible damage to societies, economies and the natural world. This requires cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and hitting net-zero emissions by 2050.
The parties agreed that there is a universal principle enshrined in the Paris Agreement on 1.5, and that if countries are to keep 1.5 alive, developed countries should fill the financing gap needed to implement the agreement.
The Jamaica delegation, led by Minister Charles, reiterated that the island has been taking concrete steps and has enhanced its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) by submitting more ambitious targets in the energy and land use/forestry sectors.
Minister Charles is accompanied by principal director in the Climate Change division, UnaMay Gordon, and senior technical officer for adaptation in the division, Le-Anne Roper.
The ministerial meeting is being held ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and is being hosted by President-Designate Alok Sharma.
The meetings will provide Jamaica and other small island developing states (SIDS), as well as other developing countries with a good basis to advance key issues, including adaptation and achieving higher mitigation ambition to keep the 1.5°C target within reach.
The other Caribbean countries represented are Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados, Belize and Grenada. Ministers from countries invited but not represented in-person will participate virtually.
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