Private Sector must play critical role in climate change mitigation – Harmon
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, called on the private sector to play a more critical role in mitigation efforts as the world continues to grapple with climate change and global warming phenomena.Minister of State, Joseph HarmonThe minister, who was at the time addressing participants at the closing of the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership Capacity Building Training Seminar of the Development and Implementation of Nationally Appropriate Climate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), which was held at the Marriott Hotel, said on Friday that the private sector must be a strong leader in these efforts, even as it is Government’s responsibility to play a coordinating role.“This NAMA has come as the Government of Guyana seeks to translate the President’s vision of a ‘green’ economy into clear, realistic strategies, plans and actions for implementation.” This, he said, will require wide stakeholder participation and engagements beyond government ministries and agencies if Guyana are to successfully achieve the status of a ‘green’ state.“Your continued involvement and participation throughout the process is demonstrative evidence of this commitment by all of you. Climate mitigation actions require strong leadership of the private sector beyond management of your own climate exposure. This can be done, of course, through climate proofing private sector investments towards providing solutions through emerging business opportunities and helping others to reduce their climate risks and supporting Government‘s mitigation policies,” Minister Harmon said.The Minister of State noted that seminars and activities such as these also underscore the need for the involvement of all the government ministries, particularly the Ministry of Business which now has to be more integrally involved in the climate change discourse nationally.Previously, he added that it was felt that only some government ministries or agencies were involved in this discourse and, therefore, the full responsibility for widening it fell on them, but now it is being broadened: “We are going to ensure that the Ministry of Business becomes more integrally involved in this process. As you look forward to the next steps in preparing our NAMAs, I challenge you to be ambitious yet realistic. I challenge you to make innovative recommendations that are transformative mitigation actions, that are not restricted to REDD+ initiatives but rather a cross-sectoral approach within the context of our national capacity and circumstances.”He noted that it is the responsibility of every ‘right thinking’ and responsible Guyanese to do what they can to assist in crafting a nation built on sustainable development.“As the Government, as the private sector, as the facilitators we have to ensure that the NAMAs are embedded in our national development policies and within existing institutional frameworks. This must not be just words, or a statement, but a firm commitment on the part of all of us to ensure that these policies are embedded.The development of Guyana is the responsibility of all of us and therefore our attitude to the green economy, our attitude to climate change must reflect that responsibility from all of us,” he said. Head of the Office of Climate Change, Janelle Christian, in an invited comment said that the unit has been playing a central role in these initiatives and the seminar is just the beginning of the work which must be done to formulate the NAMAs.Participants included staff from various ministries, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the University of Guyana and representatives from various international organisations.