Marks wants industry to help drive green economy

WASHINGTON, DC, United States — “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,” stated Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks.

She was speaking during a round-table discussion on ‘Greening Latin America and the Caribbean”’, put on by the American Chamber of Commerce in this city last Thursday.

Ambassador Marks pointed out that at the Leaders Summit on Climate, 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 as “enhanced climate action is necessary, both to address the climate crisis and to promote economic opportunity, which include[s] 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 of Commerce that, “It is our view that for this to work, government must formulate the policies and create the enabling environment, but industry must lead the development and implementation of the revolution. That’s where organisations like the American Chamber of Commerce have a critical role to play”.

She said: “as the largest business federation in the US, 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”.

Ambassador Marks lauded the efforts of the United States and other countries like Japan, Canada, India, South Africa, Russia, South Korea, China, the UK and the EU, for committing to drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

She said that Jamaica, “like all small island developing states (SIDS) and many developing countries, remained committed to advancing climate action, and 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 per cent 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 need to increase, it must also be accessible, equitable and flexible enough to target support for our vulnerabilities”.

Ambassador Marks concluded by reiterating Prime Minister Holness’s four-step financing imperatives for small island developing states: establish a global disaster fund to help SIDS recover and manage disaster risks; 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; and scale up debt-for-climate swaps to simultaneously address climate crises and the systemic debt issues affecting already burdened developing countries.


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