Jamaica’s updated 2020 NDC doubles ambition and moves towards an economy-wide target by adding the land-use change and forestry sector and deepening emission reductions in the energy sectors.
Actions highlighted in Jamaica’s NDC include projects on community-based climate resilience in the fisheries sector and integrated watershed management.
According to the NDC, the availability and transfer of technologies that are environmentally sound and which support low-carbon and climate-resilient development is paramount.
Jamaica has submitted its 2020 nationally determined contribution (NDC), joining the few Parties to the Paris Agreement on climate change that have already done so, the majority of them island States. The country’s updated NDC is more ambitious than the previous one, both in terms of its sectoral coverage and a commitment to deeper emission reductions in the energy sector.
The UNFCCC Secretariat received the updated NDC on 1 July 2020.
Taking steps to move towards an economy-wide target, Jamaica undertakes to bring emissions from the land-use change and forestry sector within its NDC for the first time.
For the energy sector, Jamaica has updated the reference indicator and identified opportunities to deepen emission reductions. The country’s first NDC had business-as-usual (BAU) energy emissions in 2030 of 14.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), while in the new baseline, the comparable emissions are 8.2 MtCO2e. Jamaica is taking an increasingly comprehensive approach to decarbonizing the sector, covering both electricity generation, as well as energy use sub-sectors.
The changes to Jamaica’s NDC approximately double its ambition. The NDC foresees, by 2030, emission reductions in the forestry and energy sectors of between 25.4 % (unconditional) and 28.5 % (conditional upon international support). This implies that emissions in these sectors would be 1.8 MtCO2e to 2.0 MtCO2e lower than in the BAU scenario. When comparing with the range of 1.1 MtCO2e to 1.5 MtCO2e in its previous NDC, the absolute level of ambition in Jamaica’s unconditional commitment has increased by more than 60%.
Jamaica will further undertake a range of actions not covered under these quantitative commitments, including in the agriculture and waste sector. Among several agricultural projects, one focuses on promoting community-based climate resilience in the fisheries sector. Another project, on integrated watershed management, aims at improved conservation and management of biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services. This will be done by implementing sustainable agriculture (including renewable power generation), forestry, land management, and livelihood practices within targeted communities. An initial estimate suggests that the avoided deforestation, reforestation, and sustain able land management outcomes of the project could yield emission reductions of more than 550,000 tCO2e for the four-year duration of the project.
In the waste sector, Jamaica is developing a country-wide integrated waste management public-private partnership (PPP) concession to improve the management and reduce the emissions of the waste sector. The country is also undertaking a range of pilot projects to explore biodiesel from cooking oil, the production of biogas using animal waste, and increasing the use of biodigestors. The country has already banned the import, manufacture, distribution, and use of single-use plastic bags and plastic straws, as well as the import and manufacture of styrofoam.
According to the updated NDC, adaptation represents an important cross-cutting element for all sectors in Jamaica, a small island developing State (SIDS) exposed to many climate change risks. Adaptation co-benefits from the shift to cleaner energy will reduce local air pollution which would become more severe as temperatures increase. The preservation of the forest cover will improve water, soil, and air quality, and reduce soil erosion.
The updated NDC notes that Jamaica’s participation in the UNFCCC Talanoa Dialogue in 2018 generated political momentum for enhanced climate action, and resulted in more robust commitments thanks to both political support and implementation plans already in place.
Yet, Jamaica states, the availability and transfer of technologies that are environmentally sound and which support low-carbon and climate-resilient development is paramount. The NDC notes that further fostering North-South cooperation would help in building capacity and expertise, meeting the costs of transition measures, and meeting the need to be more efficient and to produce from cleaner technologies. [Jamaica’s Updated NDC] [UNFCCC NDC Registry]
By Beate Antonich, Thematic Expert for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy