There were 'big victories' from COP 27, says Samuda
Jamaica's Matthew Samuda speaks at the COP27 UN Climate Summit, Tuesday, November 15, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

MINISTER with responsibility for the environment Matthew Samuda has said progress was made at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27), which will see Jamaica intensifying its fight against climate change through partnerships.

"I am confident that we made some progress at COP. I would also say that Jamaica would have engaged in several bilateral and multilateral exchanges, many of which we believe will bring significant benefits over a short, medium and long term," he told the Jamaica Observer during an interview on Wednesday.

"The most important thing that persons have to look at when evaluating COP, is the verbiage from the agreement signed, COP27 has some firsts. It's not a panacea, the agreement is not in its totality sufficient to deal with the problem but it is reflective of major steps forward in a number of areas," he said.

Noting that there are "big victories" coming out of COP27, which was held in Egypt, Samuda pointed to high inclusion of forest management.

"Jamaica has been actively pursuing protected areas to ensure that we protect our primary and secondary forests. It's the first time that forests are recognised in this way, for their contribution to the fight in climate change," he said.

"It created the framework to access funding in the coming years to help us with our fight against the effects of climate change and deal with some of the legacy issues we have already experienced," he added.

"The other victory, from my perspective, is that I believe the narrative is clear that we have to keep 1.5 alive — the 1.5 temperature rise target for the Paris Agreement and I believe it specifies the way forward. I think it could have been stronger in this space but certainly the fact that it does specify the way forward, it is a good start," said Samuda.

At the same time, he said that he was pleased that for the first time loss and damage had been placed on the agenda.

"Governments have called for a loss and damage fund for the developing world since 1992. It reflects finally that there is and has already been damage to our geography, infrastructure, people, and economies that we must receive support to facilitate rebuilding. It is a major win for the developing world of which Jamaica is a member," he said.

At COP 27, governments sought to build on previous successes and future goals to effectively tackle climate change through negotiations and agreements.

People paddle a canoe along flooded residential streets after a heavy downpour in Bayelsa, Nigeria, October 20, 2022. In many Middle Eastern and African nations, climatic shocks killed hundreds and displaced thousands every year, causing worsening food shortages. With limited resources, they also are among the world's poorest and most vulnerable to climate change impacts.
Vanessa Nakate (left) of Uganda participates in a 'Fridays for Future' protest at the COP27 UN Climate Summit while holding a sign that says "Pay for loss and damage", Friday, November 11, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (Photos: AP)
Brittny Hutchinson

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