As we commemorate Earth Day 2022 today (April 22), under the theme ‘Invest in our Planet’, it is a timely reminder that we must work to save our Earth from degradation and shape a future that is sustainable.
We must encourage Jamaicans to become more invested in climate activities and take collaborative action to protect Mother Earth which gives us life and sustenance.
We are surrounded by nature, yet through our collective actions, we damage the environment sometimes unintentionally and often to the point where it is irreparable.
IRREPAREABLE DAMAGE IF TEMPERATURE INCREASES BY 3°C
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sixth global science assessment gives us a stern warning.
“It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land.”
Without significant reduction in emissions in the decades ahead, the critical warming barrier of 2°C will be exceeded within the 21st Century, and irreparable damage will be done if the temperature increases by 3°C. The climate crisis is one of the greatest threats currently facing the human population.
This year, as Jamaica and the world commemorate Earth Day, we must reflect on the present state of the planet and how individually and collectively we can reverse the damage.
As a small island developing state (SIDS), Jamaica is facing an existential threat evidenced in our eroded shorelines, water scarcity, food insecurity, severe flooding, more frequent and intense hurricanes, and prolonged periods of drought.
This Earth Day, let us truly Invest in Our Planet.
We must invest in an islandwide reforestation, rebuilding shorelines, undertaking sustainable agriculture, embarking on green buildings, and enforcing and modernising environmental laws to stave off further damage to the environment.
ACTIONS TODAY WILL IMPACT QUALITY OF LIFE IN FUTURE
Let us invest in national climate education campaigns, invest in eco-friendly practices, teach our rural folks best practices that are environmentally friendly, invest in modern decisive laws to protect the environment and engage in environmental cost benefit analyses for all national development projects.
The actions that we take today will significantly impact the quality of our lives in the future.
As we mark this very important day, the Opposition reaffirms its commitment to working with the Government and all interested entities to actively stop the degradation of our natural environment.
Today, I encourage every Jamaican to make the commitment to take decisive action to invest, protect and restore planet Earth and safeguard our home.
- Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns is the shadow minister of land, environment, and climate change.