Charles Jr pushing for climate-proofing of all sectors

MINISTER of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change Pearnel Charles Jr has underscored the need for climate-proofing in small island developing states like Jamaica which are among the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

“Jamaica is very vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Therefore, climate-proofing all sectors through policy development, budgetary allocations, and development planning, is not optional. It is imperative. Climate change impacts such as increased storm activity and sea-level rise are especially troubling,” said Charles Jr.

“Particularly when you consider that most of Jamaica’s developments, both commercial and residential; our major roadways, government and private offices, hotels and other infrastructure critical to our way of life, are located, for the most part near, or in our coastal areas. Building resilience is therefore not a choice; it is an imperative,” added Charles in his address during the recent launch of the Jamaica National (JN) Foundation’s Climate Change, Sustainability and Innovation Summit, which is being held in tandem with the Water Project Jamaica.

According to Charles Jr, his ministry will be working on enabling a framework that will ensure the participation of all stakeholders including the private sector, in piloting and scaling up green technology, with agriculture, tourism, and housing being some of the key targeted sectors.

He said there is the need to “increase and further diversify the mix of renewable energy, particularly in the areas of transportation, energy and industry, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050”.

Charles Jr also used the opportunity to encourage JN clients to become environmental advocates as he argued that it is important for collaboration among a number of sectors to effect change.

“The Government, the private sector, academia, the non-governmental organisations and all stakeholders must continue to collaborate on solving critical problems and we must keep strengthening our partnerships to effectively build climate resilience,” said Charles Jr.

The two-day JN Foundation Climate Change, Sustainability, and Innovation summit was geared to present climate-smart solutions to impact residential and/or commercial industries and also provide general solutions to address climate resilience, with a special category focused on water adaptation.

Other aims of the summit are to present businesses that help to solve a climate-related challenge and overall, promote increased climate resiliency, particularly in residential industries; energising and exciting persons who are currently involved in this line of business or considering entry.

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