Dr. Peter Edwards
An environmental economist is urging the government to take action to make Jamaica resilient to climate change.
This follows a report released on Tuesday by Moody’s Investors Service.
Environmental Economist Dr. Peter Edwards, is in agreement with the report which states that Jamaica has very low resilience to climate change due to low income levels and the government’s limited fiscal flexibility.
In an interview with RJR News Wednesday morning, Dr. Edwards said the impact of climate change is more significant for countries like Jamaica which do not have a diverse economy.
But to mitigate the effects of major disasters the report has urged countries like Jamaica to seek insurance and to pool together resources.
Dr. Edwards added that the country should pay special attention to what is called nature-based solutions.
“So we need to make sure that we restore the integrity of our coral reefs so that they can protect the shorlines from storm surges. Similarly, we need to stop cutting down so many of our mango trees because they also mitigate hurricanes, storms and protect the coastline,” he explained.
The environmental economist also pointed to the need for government to revisit urban planning, which would, among other things, mitigate issues such as flash flooding when it rains.
Additionally, he said the restoration of downtown Kingston is a good consideration, along with the construction of more high-rise buildings. But in doing so, the government should ensure there is adequate public transportation to allow for people to readily move from one area to the next.
He added that there is need to diversify Jamaica’s economy and put measures in place to ensure that natural resources are not depleted due to mining as well as climate change.