COP26 president set to arrive in Jamaica todayMonday, July 05, 2021
Jamaica will today welcome the most senior United Kingdom (UK) Cabinet member since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic some 15 months ago.
Alok Sharma, president for COP26 — the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, is set to arrive in the island today for a two-day official visit.
A full member of Cabinet in the British Government, Sharma is solely focused on delivering a successful COP26 in terms of mitigation, adaptation and raising finance.
Sharma, who is set to call on Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith, and Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change Pearnel Charles Jr during his stay, has highlighted Jamaica as a stand out among the small island developing states (SIDS) on climate action.
“With less than four months to go before COP26, we are at a critical point for our planet and the UK's collaboration with Jamaica is vital to driving global ambition,” said Sharma.
The Reading West Member of Parliament, who will also meet with youth, civil society and private sector stakeholders, is the first foreign official to visit Jamaica since COVID-19 restrictions were imposed last March.
“I see this as an important opportunity to listen to and exchange views with a country that understands the damaging effects of climate change only too well,” added Sharma.
He underscored that this is his first visit to Jamaica and declared that this as an important opportunity to listen to and exchange views with a country that understands the damaging effects of climate change only too well.
“Jamaica's continued support and advocacy with developing countries, especially small island developing states, is commendable and crucial to advancing the global ambition we need to see on the road to COP26. I welcome the role Jamaica is playing in supporting countries to put forward more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions as co-chair of the NDC Partnership, and the personal support that Prime Minister Holness has shown for tackling climate change.
“The clock is ticking and so I look forward to discussing how we can work together to further champion this urgent global challenge,” said Sharma.
“Climate change impacts the daily lives of hard-working people across Jamaica and around the world, whether through direct shocks caused by devastating hurricanes or extreme weather and coastal erosion threatening travel, agriculture and tourism.
“Protecting people and nature from the real and current effects of climate change is one of my key priorities for COP26, so when we come together in Glasgow I am determined to ensure that the voices of Jamaica and other island states that have had to become experts in climate adaptation are heard loud and clear.
“Small island states are showing leadership in the fight against climate change — and despite them doing the least to create the causes of climate change, they are suffering the most. Ahead of COP26, the G20 have a responsibility to follow their example, and the example of G7 countries' ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions and net zero commitments,” added Sharma.
COP26 is scheduled to be held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12, 2021 under the presidency of the UK.
The conference is set to incorporate the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 16th meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol, and the third meeting of the parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA3).
This conference is the first time that parties are expected to commit to enhanced ambition since COP21.
But British High Commissioner to Jamaica Asif Ahmad has said that the UK is not waiting until November to support Jamaica's path towards sustainable development.
“Work has started in restoring mangroves in Clarendon. The J$11-billion programme to bring solar-powered irrigation to farmers and the modernisation of health centres with energy and water-saving features have already started,” Ahmad noted, adding that the significance of the visit cannot be understated.
“When leaders of the world meet in Glasgow in November, they will have to take decisions that will determine how global warming can be contained. The UK is fully committed to action that will limit average sea temperature rises to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, a pathway to net zero carbon emissions and funding its share of the $100-billion pot,” said Ahmad.
“Minister Pearnel Charles Jr and Alok Sharma have established a good working relationship, sealed by joint chairmanship of the NDC Partnership by Jamaica and the UK. The primary aim is to improve access to finance for countries that have made climate commitments,” added Ahmad.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login