Golding blasts Gov’t over environment

Opposition Leader Mark Golding has continued to blast the Government over what he describes as hypocrisy on environmental protection.

Golding, who is president of the People’s National Party, made the criticism while touring divisions in Manchester on Wednesday including Alligator Pond, where the long-standing issue of erosion has affected the beach.

“It is a problem in many parts of Jamaica. Hellshire suffered terribly; Alligator Pond is still there; the beach is still there, but it has definitely receded as the waters have come forward and this is why the whole issue of climate change is such a real problem for Jamaica. We can’t ignore it, because it is going to be something that we are going to be impacted by,” he said.

He also cited the destruction of mangroves and special forests.

“We have to lobby as hard as we can on the world stage and in doing that we can’t be hypocritical. The Government can’t be singing a tune about environmental protection and climate change protection on the world stage, but here things are happening which are inconsistent with that. Destroying mangroves [and] special forests that are ecologically sensitive, polluting rivers, all that kind of thing. We need to really step up our game in this regard,” he said.

Earlier this month the PNP criticised Prime Minister Andrew Holness over his presentation at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

PNP spokeswoman on land, environment and climate change Sophia Frazer-Binns had said the prime minister “cannot participate in COP26 in good faith, demanding international climate action and financing while destroying Jamaica’s vital forest reserves, mature mangroves, overturning the National Environment and Planning Agency’s decisions, and failing to agree on an acceptable mining buffer zone, among other things”.

“The Government is yet to achieve the delicate balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability even in the face of the unprecedented climate crisis,” Frazer-Binns said.

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