PM Invites Opposition to Join Team for Climate Change Talks


Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding has invited the Opposition to name a representative on Jamaica’s team to the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen, Denmark, December 7-18.
Mr. Golding, in a statement to the House of Representatives, on Tuesday (December 1) about last week end’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Declaration on Climate Change, also announced that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, will head the team.
“Jamaica will be participating fully at this important conference. Our delegation will be led by the Deputy Prime Minister, and he will be supported by technical officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and other agencies that have been involved in the negotiations and consideration of the issues arising there-from,” Mr. Golding said.
“The issue is so crucial to the future of the planet and, in particular, the hopes and development prospects for countries like Jamaica, that I have invited the Opposition to name a representative to be included in our delegation,” he added.
Leader of Opposition Business in the House, Derrick Kellier, assured the Prime Minister that his side would take up the offer.
Approximately 100 leaders from the 192 member countries of the United Nations, including U.S. President Barrack Obama, are expected in Denmark for the conference which many analysts suggest could heal rifts between rich and poor nations over how to deal with global warming.
Mr. Golding told the House of Representatives that there was broad consensus at the CHOGM that action needs to be taken to avert the complete ruination of the global environment.
“The challenge facing the Copenhagen Conference is to reach a binding, verifiable, enforceable agreement on precisely what must be done and how the responsibility for doing it must be allocated,” he said.
Mr. Golding said that the strategies fall into four main categories: mitigation measures to reduce carbon emissions, stabilise carbon concentration levels and limit temperature rise; adaptation measures to enable countries already adversely affected or endangered by climate change to protect themselves; introduction and transfer of appropriate technology to facilitate (1) and (2) above; provision of funding for all the above.
He explained that it is the lack of consensus on these strategies that has clouded the prospects of a legally binding international agreement emanating from the Copenhagen Conference.
“Developing countries are demanding much deeper emission cuts, lower limits on temperature rise and greenhouse gas concentration and earlier peaking point for global emission levels than some developed countries, particularly those responsible for the greater share of emissions, are prepared to commit themselves to,” the Prime Minister said.
He argued that, while the need for a global fund to finance mitigation and adaptation measures is generally accepted, discussions as to the quantum and source of these funds, and how they are to be disbursed, are still at a preliminary stage.
However, Mr. Golding said that, recognising the challenging prospects for a legally binding agreement, the Commonwealth resolved to use its considerable influence to press for an agreement with special emphasis on the predicament and needs of countries that are least culpable, but most vulnerable.
“The Commonwealth is well suited to do so, comprising, as it does, one third of the world’s population, a quarter of its sovereign states spread across all five continents and including countries that are among the richest and poorest, most developed and least developed,” he noted.

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