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Major and emerging economies globally are being urged to deliver on their commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, made the call while delivering Jamaica’s national policy statement at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) in New York this morning (September 26).
“We are playing our part through our more ambitious NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) to bolster our society, economy and country against the existential threat of climate change. Notwithstanding our efforts, the responsibility for effective action is a global one as the wide-ranging consequences of inaction are equally global,” the Minister said.
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change, which was adopted by 196 Parties at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, France, on December 12, 2015.
It entered into force on November 4, 2016.
Senator Johnson Smith said that some of Jamaica’s climate change mitigation efforts have included working assiduously to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; increase reforestation, including through the three million trees in three years project; reduce plastic waste, including in the marine environment; accelerate the energy transition towards renewables; and to address coastal erosion and risks to biodiversity both on land and at sea.
“Having just completed the climate ambition summit last week, we urge major and emerging economies to elevate their ambition and to deliver on their commitments under the Paris Agreement. This is a matter of survival for all our countries and peoples, especially in small island developing states (SIDs),” the Minister said.
She noted that Jamaica is looking forward to the fourth international SIDs conference to be held in Antigua and Barbuda next May, to assess the progress of the Agreement, to date, and the remaining gaps in the implementation of previous plans of action.
Furthermore, having reached the midpoint of the Vision 2030 agenda, Senator Johnson Smith urged that the “fullest efforts” must be channeled towards accelerating achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through partnerships and a “whole of society” approach.
“At the SDG summit last week, we recognised the mutually reinforcing and cross-cutting natures of the SDGs and that we all must turbocharge our efforts to attain the transformation we need for people, planet and prosperity,” the Minister said.