Prime Minister Andrew Holness is appealing for private-sector support in combating the effects of climate change in the region. He made the call while speaking at the Green Climate Fund Private Investment for Climate Change in Korea.

He says with hotter temperatures, shorter and more intense rainfall, with longer periods of drought, climate change is our daily reality.

He believes that small island states are the most vulnerable to climate change but the least able to respond.

“Small developing states and least developed countries are already saddled with high debt, and struggle with low growth, weak public institutions and undeveloped private sectors which constrain effective policy response to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”

While noting this, the Prime Minister says Jamaica has managed to engage a fiscal responsibility program which has been reducing the Nation’s debt. According to him, the country’s GDP was at 147% 7 years ago and is now at 95%. He says climate change also results in a nation being fiscally vulnerable. As such, the government has developed a means of managing financial risks from disasters.

“We have developed a broad framework for disaster risk management, including a National Disaster Risk Financing Policy that provides for Financial Risk Protection, including budgetary contingency funds and state-contingent debt instruments such as catastrophe bonds and catastrophe linked insurance.”

Prime Minister Andrew Holness notes that there is now a need for the private sector to get involved in climate change resilience and adaptation efforts. He says the Government will continue to advocate for increased and enhanced access to climate finance from both the public and private sectors.

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