He argues that as Jamaica and, by extension, other Caribbean states contend with the effects and impact of climate change, international financing for public- and private-sector stakeholder response is necessary to enable the countries to adapt and seize economic opportunities.
“Jamaica and certainly all of our Caribbean neighbours really require that the middle-income status not lock us from accessing the international funds that we desperately need to build the infrastructures that allow businesses to flourish and grow,” Mr. Samuda explained.
“The fact is, it is not our carbon footprint that has caused the [global] rising temperatures, though we must take responsibility for our own environments and our own sustainability,” he added.
The Government Senator was addressing climate change stakeholders at the opening of the three-day Green Climate Fund (GCF) Caribbean Private Sector Engagement Workshop at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay, St. James, on Tuesday (April 2).
Mr. Samuda reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to support the private sector in making businesses more climate-change resilient, thereby enhancing their operations and maximising out-turns.
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He stated that the GCF will be pivotal to this end, as the international financial organisation has earmarked a US$582,000 readiness grant to assist the Government, through the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, in mobilising the private sector.
“As we grapple with the effects and impacts of climate change, we [Small Island Developing States (SIDS)] all need to understand that it has far-reaching implications for the future, especially where the business continuity is concerned. We must factor in climate change, its projected impacts and the actions that would be required to minimise these impacts into all our business plans if we care about and [are] focused on protecting the bottom line,” said Mr. Samuda.
He emphasised the importance of effecting the requisite changes, adding that “we have a chance… to begin talking, thinking and acting to seize the opportunities that climate change brings to us”.
These, Senator Samuda said, include long-term energy and water efficiency, investment in improving agricultural techniques and forestry enterprises, supply chain, and infrastructure that are resilient to disasters and climate variability.
“All must be part of our thinking and our action in the new paradigm,” he added