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  • Environment Officer at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr. Esther Zeledon, says Jamaica is considered a pioneer and leader in the region in its efforts to mainstream climate change considerations into national development.
  • She made the comments at a meeting on the Climate Economic Analysis for Development Investment and Resilience (CEADIR) Project at the Climate Change Division’s Half-Way Tree Road offices yesterday (September 12).
  • Dr. Zeledon said that while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change is a critical element of any action plan, adjusting to the phenomenon, seizing opportunities, and coping with its effects is also necessary.

Environment Officer at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr. Esther Zeledon, says Jamaica is considered a pioneer and leader in the region in its efforts to mainstream climate change considerations into national development.

She made the comments at a meeting on the Climate Economic Analysis for Development Investment and Resilience (CEADIR) Project at the Climate Change Division’s Half-Way Tree Road offices yesterday (September 12).

Working with the Government of Jamaica, CEADIR provides technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of Government and other stakeholders to analyse low-emission scenarios and integrate them into economic development, strategic planning and implementation.

Dr. Zeledon said CEADIR is working with four priority sectors, namely energy, transport, solid waste and finance.

“CEADIR is also providing support to the Government for the development of a national climate change monitoring and evaluation framework so that it can be better able to measure the impacts of efforts made towards addressing climate change issues, through implementation of the National Climate Change Policy Framework,” she informed.

She added that the work being done will help Jamaica reduce its energy bill while creating opportunities for investment in clean energy.

Dr. Zeledon said that while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change is a critical element of any action plan, adjusting to the phenomenon, seizing opportunities, and coping with its effects is also necessary.

“We are keen to assist in underpinning Jamaica’s climate objectives with sound and effective research and analysis and innovation. For this, we believe that we need to develop more systemic approaches,” she pointed out.

“We need to progress in our focus on the economics of climate change and on assessing the risks, multiple benefits and opportunities of climate action. We need to understand possible barriers – social or otherwise – and how we can introduce socio-economic incentives,” Dr.  Zeledon added.

For his part, Chief Technical Director at the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Lieutenant Colonel Oral Khan, said that all national projects have to be climate-proofed.

“That means the project would undergo a certain amount of scrutiny. There are some questions which have to be asked for any project that is going to be undertaken and that is where we are working towards,” Lt. Khan said.

“There are several tools that have been developed which are helpful to climate-proof these projects. The intent going forward is to ensure that all projects undergo a certain rigorous test, answer some questions before they are approved for implementation,” he added.

CEADIR is a USAID global climate change programme.