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JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, has said that the emerging predicament of climate change, and the energy crisis, have to be dealt with through a multi-pronged approach.
“The crisis that we face of climate change, of the need to go to renewable energy and of the threat to food security is something that I believe, has to be attacked from a sort of a multi-pronged approach,” Mr. Shaw pointed out.
The Minister was speaking with JIS News yesterday (April 6), when he arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport from Miami, where he attended the annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Issues such as climate change and renewable energy were discussed at the meeting.
“I took the opportunity to make the observation that solutions that are related to the emerging crisis of climate change and the present crisis of energy, that in a real sense, a lot of the solutions that are required for both are the same types of solutions, because we need clean energy in terms of our approach and we need renewable energy, such as solar power, such as wind power, and the conversion of solid waste to energy,” Mr. Shaw said.
He also stressed that Jamaica has to become more vigorous with how the issue of energy conservation is dealt with and suggested that an energy audit be imposed.
“We give it (energy conservation) too much lip service in Jamaica. We’ve got to get much more aggressive on how we are going to conserve energy.we’ve got to start with an energy audit. Every country in this region has to have an energy audit and from there we start with conservation, even as we look at renewable energy and more efficient ways of producing energy,” the Minister said.
Mr. Shaw suggested that the farming sector in Jamaica and the Caribbean be exploited in order to ensure better food security for the region. “We have to look at how we can maximize our farming sector, so that we can have an internally driven kind of food security,” he emphasized.
“It’s not about producing food to feed the tourists who are coming. Fundamentally, it also has to be about producing food to feed ourselves and I know that the Minister of Agriculture has very aggressive plans on that,” the Minister explained.
Mr. Shaw also signed a US$30 million (J$2.13 billion) policy-based loan (PBL) agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in Miami, part of a proposed US$90 million loan programme to enhance competitiveness in Jamaica for the fiscal year.
“I will not rest until I am able to get a full range of additional resources for project-based and policy-based loans from the multilaterals that will help to give us some fiscal space, will allow us to fund some of the critical projects and to fund it at lower costs,” the Minister said.
During the course of this financial year, the Government intends to sign two additional loan agreements with the IDB of US$30 million each, based on its commitment to effect reforms to transform education and improve fiscal management.