Samuda leads Jamaica's delegation to COP27
Senator Matthew Samuda (centre), minister with responsibility for environment in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, speaks about the work of the Climate Change Division at a recent Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange. With Samuda were Le-Anne Roper (left), senior technical officer, adaptation, Climate Change Division; and Omar Alcock, senior technical officer, mitigation at the Climate Change Division, who are both part of Jamaica's delegation to COP27. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

MINISTER without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC), Senator Matthew Samuda, left the island yesterday as the leader of Jamaica's delegation to the 27th annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6 – 18.

Samuda is being supported by climate negotiators from the Climate Change Division in MEGJC namely senior technical officer for mitigation, Omar Alcock; senior technical officer for adaptation, Le-Anne Roper, and other senior officers.

"As we approach the meeting of COP27, we continue to lobby for developed countries to assist through the donation of funds, but also for increased access to and equitable sharing of those funds," Samuda said.

COP27 is being held under the theme 'Together for Implementation' where countries will demonstrate where they have turned their commitments under the Paris Agreement into action.

Youth climate activists (from left) Eric Njuguna of Kenya; Nicole Becker of Argentina; Vanessa Nakate of Uganda; Sophia Kianni, an Iranian-American environmentalist; Mitzi Jonelle Tan of the Philippines, pose for a photograph after holding a panel at the COP27 UN Climate Summit, on Wednesday. (Photo: AP)

Samuda, who has portfolio responsibility for climate change, noted that the ongoing ramifications because of historic and ongoing greenhouse emissions are undeniable.

"Jamaica has not been spared from heat waves, drought, floods, and major storms of unprecedented proportions which are clear evidence of climate change.

"Jamaica is in a new era of implementation and will be lobbying for 'loss and damage' at COP27. We are hoping that it will be formally acknowledged, and a financial mechanism will be designed to address it. Because for us, loss of and/or damage to physical features and investments are very real threats that we face from climate impacts," said Samuda who is expected to address the meeting today.

At COP27, countries come together to take action toward achieving the world's collective climate goals as agreed under the Paris Agreement and the Convention.

Two key features of the conference are the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit, on November 7 and 8, and a high-level segment primarily attended by ministers, from November 15–18.

On Wednesday United States officials announced that President Joe Biden would be going to COP27 with a message that historic American action to fight climate change won't shift into reverse, as happened twice before when Democrats lost power.

Current and former Biden top climate officials said the vast majority of the summer's incentive-laden US$375-billion climate and health spending package — by far the biggest law passed by Congress to fight global warming — was crafted in a way that will make it hard and unpalatable for future Republican congresses or presidents to reverse it.

Outside experts agree, but say other parts of the Biden climate agenda can be stalled by a Republican Congress and courts.

Twice in the 30-year history of climate negotiations, Democratic administrations helped forged an international agreement, but when they lost the White House, their Republican successors pulled out of those pacts.

And after decades of American promises at past climate summits but little congressional action, the United States for the first time has actual legislation to point to.

The climate and health law, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, was approved without a single Republican vote, prompting some advocates to worry it may not withstand GOP attacks if Republicans gain control of the House or Senate following elections on Tuesday.

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