Sunday 16 June, 2019

Jamaica joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action

Finance Minister Nigel Clarke

Finance Minister Nigel Clarke

Jamaica is the first country in the English Caribbean to join the ‘Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action’.

The Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action which was launched in April 2019, at the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF), aims at driving stronger collective action on climate change and its impacts.

The Coalition abides by seven principles called the Helsinki Principles which promote national climate action, especially through fiscal policy and the use of public finance.

These principles are designed to support finance ministers to share best practices and experiences on macro, fiscal, and public financial management policies for low-carbon transformation.

Jamaica, like other small island developing states, is highly exposed to extreme weather events and climate risks in the face of climate change and there is no doubt about the urgency of accessing more climate financing from public and private sources to assist the country’s path to climate-resilient growth. Jamaica is among the 30 countries to have joined the coalition.

“Jamaica is engaged in a strategic approach that will enable us to apply prudent public financial management principles to disaster risk financing. This Coalition is an important platform to highlight the role of fiscal planning in addressing climate change, and the role of partnerships in advancing disaster risk financing” expressed Dr Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance.

According to the 2016 New Climate Economy report, the world is set to invest about US$90 trillion in infrastructure over the next 15 years. That means spending will increase from about US$3.4 trillion per year to about US$6 trillion. Most of this investment will be in developing and emerging market countries. Paris Agreement is therefore all about radical economic transformation, sustainable infrastructure and resilient growth.

The head of Jamaica’s Climate Change Division, Una May Gordon, further indicated “Paris Agreement has set the stage of what collectively the world need to achieve in order to curve greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.”

She said: “Now it is up to us to successfully achieve our national commitments under the Agreement and that involves as well good management of international climate financing. International and regional financial institutions and finance ministries have a critical role in delivering the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Jamaica is also co-leading along with France and Qatar the Climate Finance and Carbon Pricing track for the next United Nations Climate Summit to take place in September. The track focuses on delivering on commitments of providing US$100 billion annually by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation to climate change and identifying collective actions to mobilize resources from public and private sources for low carbon investment.

This specific role places the country at the forefront of climate action as the voice of small, vulnerable and least developed countries.

 

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