COP26 President boosts cooperation on tackling climate change during visit to Jamaica

  • Ministers discussed shared goals around boosting climate finance and support for communities affected by climate change
  • Ministers discussed how to increase pressure on major emitters to take urgent climate action

The COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, has welcomed Jamaican support for climate priorities ahead of the crucial UN climate change summit, COP26, later this year.

During a two-day visit to Kingston, Mr Sharma met leaders from the Jamaican government, including Prime Minister Andrew Holness. The pair discussed their shared priority of encouraging developed countries to deliver on their commitment to jointly mobilise US$100 billion annually to support the climate needs of developing countries and welcomed the progress made by the G7.

During a meeting with leaders from youth and civil society, academia and the private sector, Mr Sharma stressed the importance he places in action to protect people and nature from the worst impacts of climate change. Jamaica has suffered the effects of climate change through hurricanes, heavy downpours and coastal erosion.

The UK and Jamaica are also working closely towards a shared priority of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C, as co-chairs of the NDC Partnership. The partnership supports countries around the world to put forward ambitious emissions reduction targets through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Mr Sharma’s visit follows the recent launch of the COP Presidency’s Visions for a Net Zero Future project which will see academics, business, civil society and citizens coming together to develop a ‘Vision’ for a net zero Jamaica, alongside five other regions of the world. The project aims to help all nations envision what a climate-resilient, net zero future would look like for them.

Speaking at the end of his visit, Mr Sharma said:

“Jamaica is a clear leader on climate action. I have been delighted to hear how this inspiring island is bringing other countries on its journey, and I encourage Prime Minister Holness to continue to be a vocal spokesperson for how climate change is impacting developing countries and particularly small island states.

“Climate change impacts lives and livelihoods around the world every day. The world must continue to work together to drive down emissions and make our communities more resilient to climate shocks.

“Countries like Jamaica on the front line of climate change have done the least to cause climate change and it is on all G20 countries to step up and deliver urgent climate action.

“The UK and Jamaica’s joint leadership through the NDC Partnership sets a gold standard for the kind of collaboration and international solidarity that we need to see if we are to keep 1.5C alive and safeguard our planet for future generations.”

Mr Sharma looks forward to continuing to work closely with Jamaica and hopes to welcome Jamaica’s Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Pearnel Charles Jr., to a Ministerial meeting he is hosting later this month to discuss the shape of the Glasgow outcome and explore tangible solutions to some of the most important issues.

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