Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, says it is important that developing countries, like Jamaica, implement mitigation strategies to reduce their emission of green house gases.
He noted that, as such, the Government has placed increased focus on the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy and land use changes, especially forestry.
"These will be Jamaica's nationally appropriate mitigation actions," he pointed out, adding that they will be characterised by a government-led, multi-stakeholder participative process, based on robust national research.
The Minister was addressing a regional workshop on: 'Capacity building and lessons learned on the development of the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) programme of activities and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs)', at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, on September 25.
Mr. Pickersgill noted that among the strategies implemented by the government are the National Energy Policy and its sub-policies, which speak to mitigation as key to its direction.
The Minister said there is also a significant national focus on adaptation measures, and that the government remains committed to implementing the 'no-regrets' mitigation measures, such as demand side management in electricity production and using alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydropower, and bio-fuels to produce energy.
"The nation's main supplier of electricity, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), utilises demand side management, while the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica has made a commitment under the energy policy to significantly increase the contribution of renewable energy sources to the energy mix," he informed.
An example of the thrust towards renewable energy sources is the establishment of Phases I and II of the Wigton Wind Farm, in the parish of Manchester, with a total capacity of 30.8 megawatts of power, Mr. Pickersgill stated.
He added that both phases of the wind farm project are being implemented by the PCJ under the CDM of the Kyoto Protocol.
Furthermore, the Minister pointed out that the process towards the successful implementation of mitigation strategies is not just a government effort, but must also involve the participation of the private sector
Mr. Pickersgill noted that the number of private sector companies that are involved in mitigation efforts is rapidly expanding, with several of them being awarded grant funding to implement ingenious project designs.
He said Jamaica also intends to take mitigation action to achieve 20 per cent below the business-as-usual emissions growth trajectory by 2020, as projected from the year 2007.
"To acquire this objective we will require international support. As a nation, Jamaica can look forward to a growth in the already wide variety of mitigation initiatives in sectors varying from tourism to food processing," the Minister said.
The workshop was organised by the Ministries of Environment and Climate Change; and Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), the Latin America Energy Organisation (OLADE) and the United Nations Environment Programme Risoe Centre (URC).