Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has said that poverty is an enemy of the environment and funding must continue to be given towards its alleviation.
He was addressing Commonwealth Heads of Government in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad on November 27.
In his contribution to the special session on climate change, Mr Golding said he was encouraged by statements from United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon; President of France, Nicholas Sarkozy; President of Denmark, Lars Rasmussen; Britain’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown and other leaders, which acknowledged the urgent need to combat the problem of climate change.
Mr. Golding said he welcomed a recommendation by the European Union and the United Kingdom for a fund of $10 billion annually, over the next three years, to small island developing states, to deal with the effects of climate change.
Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding (right ), consults with new Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Onika Miller, ( centre ) following the November 28 session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Other members of Jamaica’s delegation (from left) are: High Commissioner to Trinidad, Her Excellency Sharon Saunders; High Commissioner to London, His Excellency Burchell Whiteman; and Under-Secretary for Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Vilma McNish.
However, he said this was a drop in the bucket when compared to the one per cent of Gross Domestic Product estimated to be required to finance measures and actions that developing countries must take to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
He emphasised the importance for additional funding and said there should be no reallocation of funds away from other pressing issues affecting developing countries. As much as climate change is an important problem, which must be urgently addressed, Mr Golding said, it is not the only problem facing developing countries such as Jamaica.
Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty The Queen, in her address at the opening ceremony, earlier in the day, noted that on the eve of the United Nations summit on Climate Change, the Commonwealth has an opportunity to, once again, take the lead.
“The threat to our environment is not a new concern, but it is a global challenge, which will continue to affect the security and stability of millions for years to come. Many of those affected are among the most vulnerable and many of the people least able to withstand the adverse effects of climate change live in the Commonwealth,” she noted.