‘More problem, man’

JAMAICA’S minister with responsibility for the environment Matthew Samuda has underscored that the climate change emergency facing the world cannot be tackled by a single country, but all nation playing their role, within their respective capabilities.

Addressing the high-level segment of the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Egypt on Tuesday, Samuda argued that togetherness and implementation are needed to shift the needle on climate change.

“In Jamaica, there is a popular saying, ‘No problem, man’. But this does not apply to the current crisis. It may be more accurate to say, ‘More problem, man’, because the impacts of climate change already being experienced and those to come have not adequately been addressed,” declared Samuda who is leading the Jamaican delegation to COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

“Loss and damage has not been given its due attention and support. Jamaica is calling for action,” declared Samuda.

“The global financial architecture and mechanisms must change. Sadly, there are still issues of access that must be rectified and made simpler. Small island states have been voicing concerns as well about the growing dissonance in establishing a loss and damage funding arrangement. We unreservedly join with other developing countries in calling for a loss and damage fund that help countries address the inevitable impacts,” added Samuda.

He noted that Jamaica has not been idle in its efforts to deal with climate change, introducing measures including a holistic National Disaster Risk Financing Strategy, the Jamaica Systemic Risk Assessment Tool to increase climate change considerations in investment; and a National three million tree-planting programme.

“We can report that more than 2.4 million trees have since been planted, a result of stakeholders working together for implementation,” noted Samuda.

He had earlier told an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) event, titled ‘Nuclear beyond energy: Supporting island states affected by climate change through innovative scientific innovations’, that Jamaica was exploring the use of several mechanisms to facilitate greater knowledge sharing in the region on water security.

“One of the mechanisms that could facilitate greater knowledge transfer and participation of all the islands and take advantage of something like Caricom would be, for example, The University of the West Indies, which is our regional university. It does have some capacity and has been exposed, through the IAEA, to nuclear technology in the past. That gives us an opportunity and we could work in that direction,” said Samuda.

“Our fiscal situation is the biggest challenge we have admittedly, but we have the benefit of partnerships and access to the best science in the world through the IAEA.

“It is why a small island developing state like Jamaica comes to COP because it is absolutely important that we are able to mobilise the funds we need for mitigation and adaptation…Water security is the baseline security for all states and that’s going to become a forefront issue, but it is very good that IAEA is giving us the science,” declared Samuda.

The IAEA has been gathering water samples from around the world for 60 years and helps countries use this data to get a full picture of their local water systems. This insight helps to drive policies on water use, agriculture, the location of industries, and housing developments.

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