JIS News

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon Dr. Kenneth Baugh has outlined measures to combat the effects of climate change.
Addressing the 15th Conference of Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, Copenhagen, Denmark, yesterday afternoon, (Thursday afternoon) the Deputy Prime Minister who headed Jamaica’s delegation to the conference, implored the international community to show the necessary resolve and break new ground to achieve a fair, balanced and just agreement in the shortest possible time.
“As the most vulnerable to the catastrophic impacts of climate change, Jamaica and its partners in the Alliance of Small Island Developing States, are compelled to be emphatic in our demands for a legally binding, verifiable and enforceable agreement,” he stated.
Stating that “we are challenged to make COP 15 Copenhagen, a historic landmark and turning point for global co-operation to achieve the sustained existence of our planet,” Minister Baugh said it was time for a global conscience to take on board the equity and well-being of all the people of the world and the planet itself in response to the compelling scientific realities now confronting us.
Elaborating on the actions and measures which must be taken if there was to be any hope of deterring human-induced climate change, the Minister said that firstly, industrialised countries, owing a historic debt for carbon emissions must take the lead and make commitments for quantifiable and time- specific cuts and reduce gas emissions by 45 per cent in respect of 1990 levels by 2020, and by 85 per cent by 2050. Temperature rise must be limited to well below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and long term stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations to below 350 parts per million.
It was important that all major emitters play a role in climate change mitigation while taking account of their development needs.
Secondly, Minister Baugh said adaptation measures were required to enable and support developing countries to respond and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.
Thirdly, the introduction and transfer of appropriate technology to facilitate action by developing countries to effectively pursue mitigation and adaptation measures.
Fourthly, Minster Baugh emphasized the importance capacity-building to enable developing countries to participate fully in national and international processes to prepare and implement climate change actions and to pursue carbon free and low carbon emission technologies for continued growth.
Finally, the Minister said, there should be the provision of funding to developing countries to implement actions and measures that are crucial to cope with climate change, while allowing our countries to continue on the path to development. This funding must be new and additional and separate from existing development assistance flows.
Minister Baugh welcomed the announcement of fast-start funding of US$ 10 billion per annum up to 2012 but stated that much more substantial funding would however, be required to arrest the threat posed by global warming. “We believe that priority attention must be given to the most vulnerable countries, in particular small island developing states.”
Although Jamaica was a low emitter of greenhouse gases, the country was committed to taking action at the national level to conserve energy and explore opportunities for utilising renewable energy sources, he said.
According to Minister Baugh the presence in Copenhagen of so many world leaders and their passionate statements demonstrate our collective conviction that urgent global action must be taken to confront the challenge.
“Our goal is clear – a co-operative, comprehensive and equitable response that guarantees the sustained and viable existence of the most vulnerable, the least culpable and the least capable of responding in an effective manner to the impact of climate change.”
Minister Baugh said that if the conference failed to signal to the world that global governance was effectively charting a course which leads to the mitigation of climate change with equity and fairness, then global insecurity would be the outcome. Displacement of peoples, instability and confrontation, food and national insecurity were among the outcomes to be feared.

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