Jamaica Affirms its Bold Commitment in Addressing the Climate Crisis
“The Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action is actively promoting increased application of fiscal policy measures in public finance. Jamaica has joined this coalition of expert practitioners, which will improve our macro-fiscal and public debt management practices.”
- Statement by the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the most Honorable Andrew Holness at the UN Climate Action Summit, 2019
A Partnership member since August 2018, Jamaica demonstrated leadership and ambition in its resolve to build a low-carbon, climate-resilient island. As well as increasing and broadening NDC targets in 2020, Jamaica also strengthened transparency and built capacity for effective NDC implementation within its finance ministry.
Enhancing Ambitions (Development of the revised and enhanced NDC)
Despite the pressing demands of responding to COVID-19 and developing a recovery program, Jamaica submitted its new, bolder NDC in June 2020. Through the NDC Support Facility, the country receives assistance from the World Bank to undertake economic and emissions modeling to craft its new NDC. Several emission scenarios were devised and modelled, keeping in mind Jamaica’s international commitments, such as its new NDC, historical data and trends in GHG emissions, and future economic development patterns, among others. The Bank also assisted Jamaica’s Government in reviewing policies in key vulnerable and economic sectors and prioritizing strategies for achieving long-term, low-carbon, climate-resilient development.
This support allowed the island to double its energy target and broaden the sectoral scope of its second NDC submission. The World Bank will continue to support Jamaica in the development of its NDC investment plan. The Bank’s direct support will be complemented by actions under the Partnership’s Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP, see How the Partnership Works section), notably through the Long Term Low GHG Emission and Climate Resilient Strategy initiatives.
Plans are now underway in Jamaica to develop a strengthened transparency framework on climate change, as described in Article 13 of the Paris Agreement. This work began with the signing of a two-year Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) Project for USD1.3 million between the IDB Climate Change Divisions and Jamaica’s Government.
The CBIT Project will design and implement a fully functional and harmonized domestic Measuring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) system, used to support effective NDC implementation and other activities. Efforts are also underway to improve knowledge sharing and capacity building among national agencies to effectively coordinate the implementation of transparency-related activities.
Development of a Long-Term Strategy
Several Partnership members, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute, the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Center in Grenada, Rocky Mountain Institute, and UNEP-CTCN pledged to support Jamaica across its priorities.
The Jamaican Government looks to develop an ambitious Long-Term Strategy (LTS) that can be reported on and includes an MRV framework and implementation tracking. All steps and phases will be done with a strong participatory approach. The World Bank will look at the magnitude of reductions needed and abatement scenarios, including socioeconomic factors. This helps the Government when evaluating tradeoffs in developing strategy. The Greenhouse Gas Management Institute will review the institutional framework and capacity-building LTS needs. This supports work on stakeholder engagement, develops recommendations for institutional arrangements, and maps stakeholders for institutional arrangements and MRV systems. The Rocky Mountain Institute will bring techno-economic expertise and lead on financial costing of pathway actions and assessing finance resource options. UNEP-CTCN will contribute to a research and technological development agenda that considers improving technologies as well as expanding the production and use of knowledge to address climate change issues.
Championing the International Climate Finance Agenda
Along with France and Qatar, Jamaica shined as a co-lead for the thematic track on Climate Finance and Carbon Pricing in the lead up to the 2019 UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit. The Partnership provided support by strengthening capacity in country and at permanent UN missions in New York by embedding local experts in teams charged with preparing for the Summit. As an outcome of the summit’s adaptation and resilience track, Jamaica began collaborating with the Climate Resilient Investment Coalition, which strengthens the market for private and public sector investment in climate-resilient infrastructure, reduces climate risk, and supports climate vulnerable geographies in attracting investment and preventing capital flight as climate risks become more evident. Jamaica co-led in climate finance very seriously, announcing the approval of technical assistance through GCF’s Readiness Program to support development of the first ever Caribbean Green Bond to be listed on the Jamaica Stock Market.
Jamaica continues to lead in climate finance and is the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action. Launched by the World Bank and IMF in August 2019, the Coalition drives stronger collective action on climate change and its impacts.
The Coalition abides by 7 “Helsinki Principles,” designed to support finance ministers as they share best practices and experiences on macro, fiscal, and public financial management policies for low-carbon transformation. Jamaica, along with Uganda, is a Country Champion for Helsinki Principle 6, which aims to collect country members’ experience engaging ministries of finance in reviewing, updating, and implementing NDCs.
Jamaica’s Ministry of Finance is also part of the Climate Change Focal Point Network and actively participated in a GCF Knowledge Forum organized by the Climate Change Division (CCD) to promote awareness on climate finance.
Members supporting Jamaica: Commonwealth Secretariat; Greenhouse Gas Management Institute; IDB; Rocky Mountain Institute; UNEP-CTCN; UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Center St. George’s; and the World Bank.