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JIS News

Consultant with the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE), Dr. Oscar Coto, says Jamaica has an opportunity to tap into international financing that can assist with its efforts at reducing the impacts of climate change.

This, he said, can be accomplished through advancement of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Programme of Activities (PoA) as well as Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).

“If through a supported-type NAMA, the country can get recognition of some incremental critical costs that are involved in delivering some climate change mitigation, through activities in the country…those resources would be used to support the scaling up of (projects) for a better energy sector, more renewable energy, more efficiency within the society (and ultimately) better living for Jamaicans,” he said.

Dr. Coto was speaking to JIS News following a workshop on potential for Programmatic CDM and NAMAs in Jamaica, at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston on April 3.

The CDM is one of the ‘project-based’ mechanisms defined in the Kyoto Protocol designed to promote projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement created under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). PoAsrefer tovoluntary co-ordinated actions by a private or public entity that leads to GHG reductions through a number of CDM project activities.

NAMAs are seen primarily as a way for developing countries—with financial and technological support from the international community—to make progress in reducing their own domestic GHG emissions.

OLADE is providing support to the Government through the provision of technical assistance in order to contribute in the identification of opportunities for the development of CDM Programme of Activities as well as NAMAs. This is in keeping with Government’s activities to reduce the impacts of climate change within the energy sector.

As such, Dr. Coto has prepared a report based on a ‘Study on the Identification of Potential Project Portfolios Associated to Programmatic CDM and NAMAs in Jamaica’, which he discussed during the workshop.

In his presentation, Dr. Coto pointed to current trends to move from strict carbon financing to a broader concept of climate financing, which includes the NAMAs as an opportunity to assist countries in enabling mitigation activities, both at the policy as well as the project/programme level.

Carbon financeis a new branch of environmental finance, which explores the financial implications of living in a carbon-constrained world, in which emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) carry a price.

In his report, Dr. Coto noted that it is clear that the country has enacted a series of visions, policies and action plans that can contribute significantly to prepare Jamaica for climate financing opportunities.

He argued that from the climate mitigation perspective, renewable energy interventions seem to be very cost effective in Jamaica, and associated climate financing could be attracted to assist in removing some of the perceived gaps associated with the regulatory challenges as well as in mobilising financing and guarantees for private sector participation.

“It is becoming clear that the paths for most of the identified and discussed potentials for emission reductions in Jamaica lie within the boundaries of the NAMA mechanisms under discussion in the UNFCCC as a vehicle for climate financing,” the report reads.

The report recommends that the country needs to engage in strengthening its capabilities to understand the depth of new climate financing opportunities and risks, assess if the emerging mechanisms of climate financing may be attractive to supplement and scale up on-going activities, and from there pursue opportunities that are cost effective and with ample sustainable development benefits for the country.