Jamaica on track to exceed emission reduction target Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Government has indicated that Jamaica is well on its way to not just achieving but exceeding its emission reduction target by 2030.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator,  Matthew Samuda, responding to questions at a sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House, underscored that the sectors with individual targets to help achieve this feat are land use, waste management, and energy.

He pointed out that in 2020, Jamaica, for the first time, included land use in its nationally determined contributions (NDCs), making this one of the ways in which the country will increase carbon capture and reduce emission.

The Minister informed that currently, in excess of 25 per cent of the land mass in the country is being protected and the expectation is to exceed the 30 per cent target agreed on by the rest of the world for 2030, by the end of 2025.

In addition, the Minister noted that Jamaica’s forest cover has increased in the last six years.

“With the land-use policies that we have in place, we have seen significant lands that were secondary forests go back to primary forests, and lands that were previously mined-out lands and agricultural lands being returned to secondary forests. So, Jamaica is increasing its forest cover,” Mr. Samuda said.

“On the land use side, we are not just on track, we are actually ahead of target. On the marine environment, we are between 13 and 15 per cent. We are a part of a LiDAR mapping initiative being undertaken by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). After this mapping initiative, we expect to get to that 30 per cent target by 2030,” he added.

As it relates to waste management, the Minister said that the planned closure of dumps and establishing a new method of managing waste will benefit the country significantly.

“We know the emissions that come from improperly managed waste management facilities. We expect that with the closure that will come before 2030 and the transition away from our current facilities that will start long before 2030, that the management of our waste will indeed be in line with our NDCs,” Mr. Samuda said.

Regarding energy, the Minister reminded that the national fleet is in the process of being electrified to reduce emissions.

He recalled that the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) has started this process in purchasing five electric buses, in an effort to move from heavy fuel oil to compressed natural gas (CNG).

In addition, electric vehicles are to be bought for the National Water Commission this year, and the entity has a five-year plan to cut energy usage.

“Climate change is an all-of-government issue. The ambition as listed [in] Vision 2030 is not achieved by any one single cost centre. It is not consolidated under a single budget heading, but I can assure you that we are well on the way, not just to achieve our 2030 targets but to actually supersede those,” Mr. Samuda underscored.