Happy Earth Day to all my readers! Have you planted a tree today?
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith today signed the historic Paris Agreement at UN Headquarters in New York. Altogether, a record 175 countries signed the Agreement and fifteen States deposited instruments of ratification. The full day’s ceremony, including national statements, is currently streaming live on http://webtv.un.org
Notably, the fourteen countries that have already ratified the agreement include five Caribbean countries and several other Small Island Developing States – as follows: Barbados, Belize, Fiji, Grenada, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nauru, Palau, Palestine, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Samoa and Tuvalu. You can find the full list here: http://newsroom.unfccc.int/media/632121/list-of-representatives-to-high-level-signature-ceremony.pdf
Now it’s time for action!
A press release from the Ministry today notes:
The Paris Agreement, which was adopted at the Climate Change Summit in Paris in December 2015, signals the commitment of the international community to combat climate change and its wide-ranging effects.
Minister Johnson Smith stated, ”The Agreement is especially important to Small Island Developing States, like Jamaica, which are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, including sea-level rise and coastal erosion. Taking steps to address climate change at the national level, and supporting ambitious action at the global level, is central to Jamaica’s ongoing efforts to the achievement of sustainable development.”
Jamaica’s national energy policy, which formed the core of Jamaica’s submission to the global effort, commits the country to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions below 7.8% of current levels.
By signing the Agreement, Jamaica gains access to technology transfer and financial, technical and capacity building support for adaptation and mitigation activities to address the impact of climate change.