First Look

Minister Nicholson hopeful for positive COP21 outcome

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade | 2015-12-04 00:00:00

Senator the Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson, QC, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, is currently leading Jamaica’s delegation at the 21st Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France.

Minister Nicholson, who recently attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta, heads the Jamaican delegation, which includes 7 government officials and eleven representatives from non-governmental organisations.

Since the Conference’s November 30 start, the Minister has already participated in a Special High Level Breakfast Meeting of Small Island Developing States (SIDS); CARICOM Caucus Meeting convened by the Hon. Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados, to provide updates on bilateral meetings held with H.E. Barack Obama, President of the United States and H.E. Ban-Ki Moon, United Nations Secretary General; as well as plenary sessions of the COP21.

He has also engaged in bilateral discussions with H.E. Luis A. Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, to reinforce the importance that Jamaica attaches to a pilot project on climate resilience underway in the country.

Minister Nicholson also met with Hon. Tim Groser, Minister of Trade and Environment of New Zealand, to seek that country’s continued support for the special circumstances of SIDS in relation to climate change.

Noting the massive undertaking that the Conference represents, the Foreign Minister stated, “It is essential that Jamaica add its voice to support the cause of SIDS, who are the most affected by climate change.  I hope that partners at the negotiating table demonstrate the sensitivity required to reach agreement on critical issues, such as curtailing emissions levels to 1.5 degrees - the goal promoted by SIDS - on loss and damage, financing, and capacity-building, among others.”

Minister Nicholson asserted, “I remain hopeful that the existential threat which the climate change phenomenon represents for many countries, including Jamaica, and the demonstration of partnership evident in other fora, will lead ultimately to a binding agreement which meets our shared objectives.”

The Conference is expected to continue until December 11.

Posted By :Ann- Margaret Lim

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