Jamaica tells climate conference it has lost billions as a result of climate impacts

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UN Conference on Climate Change

The universal phenomenon that is climate change is threatening the very economic base on which Jamaicans seek to build their country and the time honored traditions inherent in their culture.

Jamaica's Minister of Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill warned that without collective actions, climate change will continue to be a major obstacle in achieving the sustainable development goals. He says while there have been attempts to adapt to the impacts of climate change, the stark reality is that there are some impacts that are proving to be beyond the islands' ability to adapt.

Robert Pickersgill: Specifically, the increased temperatures and acidification of our seas amply demonstrate that fact. The slow onset event of increased sea temperatures threatens to bleach and destroy our coral reefs. This will ultimately make our coastal areas more vulnerable to storm surges, and predictably wipe out our tourism, dive industry, fisheries and eventually threaten our food security.

NAR: Environment Minister Robert Pickersgill says that since 2001, Jamaica has lost an estimated $2 billion Jamaican in damage and other losses associated with hurricanes, floods and droughts.

Robert Pickersgill: Islands like ours cannot ignore the signs; we live through these impacts every day. We pay for and continue to pay for the loss and damage from these events even though we are not the causative agents. This is not right. Since we have no control over stopping impacts such as acidification or increased water temperatures, then it is only just and fair that those who continue to ignore the obvious signs, and impose this burden on us, begin to be held accountable for the havoc they are unleashing on us – small islands.

Environment Minister Robert Pickersgill expressed the hops that the commitments made to reduce emissions will be kept.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 2’06″

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