[WASHINGTON, DC] – “Industry has a fundamental role to play in driving the green economy and charting the way towards a carbon neutral and sustainable future, on which our very existence depends.”
This is the word from Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks. Marks spoke at a roundtable discussion on “Greening Latin America and the Caribbean”. The roundtable discussion was put on by the American Chamber of Commerce on Thursday May 20th, 2021.
She pointed out that at the Leader’s Summit hosted by United States President Joe Biden last month, both the President and the US Climate envoy John Kerry stressed the necessary partnership with industry leaders. She noted the clear message is “enhanced climate action is necessary both to address the climate crisis and to promote economic opportunity, which included creating good, high-quality jobs in areas such as renewable energy deployment, electric vehicle manufacturing, methane abatement and building retrofits.”
In a well-received presentation, Ambassador Marks told members of the American Chamber, that “It is our view that for this to work, government must formulate the policies. In addition to creating the enabling environment. But, industry must lead the development and implementation of the revolution. That’s where organizations like the American Chamber of Commerce have a critical role to play.”
She said “as the largest business federation in the U.S., representing more than three million businesses, you are uniquely poised to spur this movement. We applaud you on your leadership thus far and hope it will inspire other industry players.”
Reducing Gas Emissions
Ambassador Marks lauded the efforts of countries for committing to drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Countries like the United States, Japan, Canada, India, South Africa, Russia, South Korea, China, the UK and the EU.
She said Jamaica, “like all Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and many developing countries, remained committed to advancing climate action. Additionally, we are determined to build forward stronger, better and greener.”
“In spite of the challenges presented by the pandemic and the significant reduction in our earnings, Jamaica has raised ambition on mitigation with a significant energy target while expanding the scope to include land use and forestry. For us, the absolute level of ambition in our enhanced NDC is 60% higher than our first,” she said.
Quoting Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ at the Leaders’ Summit, she said “if SIDS are to keep our heads above water, not only does the quantum of climate financing needs to increase. It must also be accessible, equitable and flexible enough to target support for our vulnerabilities.”
Financing for SIDS
Ambassador Marks concluded by reiterating Prime Minister Holness’ four step financing imperatives for Small Island Developing States:
- Establish a global disaster fund to help SIDS recover and manage disaster risk;
- Develop innovative risk-informed financing for disasters and climate events;
- Include vulnerability measures as the prime consideration for determining access for financing rather than only income criteria;
- Scale-up debt-for-climate swaps to simultaneously address climate crises and the systemic debt issues affecting already burdened developing countries.