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The global COVID-19 pandemic which closed international borders, shut down industries across the world and cut international as well as domestic travel, did not in any way slow the impact of climate change on the economies of small island developing state (SIDS) such as Jamaica. Hence there is an urgent need to turbo charge efforts to meet the objective of the Paris Agreement, a legally binding internationally treaty adopted by 196 Parties at the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 in Paris on December 12, 2015, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

That was one of the main takeaways from last Tuesday’s press briefing at which British politician Alok Sharma, the president-designate for COP 26 – the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties from October 21-November 12, shared his plans for the event with journalists.

“We are at a critical point for our planet. We must take urgent action to reduce global emissions and to keep the goals of the international climate treaty of the Paris Agreement which was agreed on in 2015 to keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius in reach. We must also strengthen efforts to protect people and nature from the effects of our changing climate and we must increase the finance flows to climate action which, of course, is vital,” he declared.

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