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Small businesses threatened by climate change, experts warn

Environment Ministry to involve private sector as partner in adapting to impact of phenomenon

By Hana Namrouqa - Oct 27,2016 - Last updated at Oct 27,2016

AMMAN — Climate change jeopardises the survival of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which make up 98 per cent of Jordan’s businesses, experts warned on Thursday, calling for strengthening the sector’s resilience to the global phenomenon.

At a meeting organised by EDAMA, a business association focused on solutions for energy independence and environmental conservation, experts noted that most employment and income-generating opportunities in developing countries and emerging markets come from SMEs. 

Meanwhile, the enterprises also play a major role in the supply of goods and services to communities, participants said.

Given the importance of SMEs, it is vital to raise the awareness of business owners on how to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change, experts agreed.    

Climate change can directly and indirectly impact SMEs by damaging their infrastructure, disrupting production processes or affecting resources such as water and energy, which may become more scarce or costly, thus disrupting supply chains and changing sales markets, a factsheet distributed at the meeting indicated.

Sylvia Maria Von Stieglitz from the German Development Cooperation said that upcoming climate change negotiations offer multiple opportunities for the private sector in financing and investment as well as supporting creativity and technology transfer.

The meeting was organised to raise the awareness of the private sector on the impact of climate change and adaptation and mitigation methods, particularly with the approaching 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22), which will be held in Marrakech, Morocco in November.

During COP22, parties will begin preparations for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, which was approved in December. 

The convention pushes world nations to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of this century and provides a path forward to limiting the global temperature rise to well below 2ºC, and to 1.5ºC if possible.

Minister of Environment Yaseen Khayyat called on the private sector to provide input on how to position Jordan on the green economy and low-carbon approach.

He highlighted that the ministry’s climate change committee will be restructured in a way to bring stronger involvement from the private sector as a partner in local efforts to adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change.

In addition, the country’s official delegation at the COP22 will include representatives from the private sector, according to Khayyat, who added that the whole delegation is working hand-in-hand to reflect Jordan’s achievements, especially in renewable energy.

During the opening of the High Level Segment meeting at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference, Jordan indicated that it can reduce its greenhouse emissions by 14 per cent, if international funding is provided to enable the Kingdom to reduce 12.5 per cent of that total percentage.

Jordan will commit to covering the cost of reducing emissions by 1.5 per cent.

The Kingdom will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5 per cent by implementing 70 projects, mainly in the energy and transportation sectors, if the required funds are available.

 

Khayyat noted that Jordan can honour its obligation to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 14 per cent by the year 2030 if it secures financial and technical support from the international community.

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