Artistes’ Call for Action - Panos Caribbean’s Voices for Climate Change Education Programme

Endorsed by UNDP Multi Country Office in Jamaica

June 30, 2023
Artistes read Call to action

Recording artistes Pam Hall and Jerone Riley read the call to action to 'Cool own Jamaica at the recent 1.5 to Stay Alive' Knowledge Forum and Jam Session at UNDP office on Lady Musgrave Road

UNDP MCO in Jamaica

Panos Caribbean’s Voices for Climate Change Education Programme

Artistes’ Call for Action

Endorsed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multi Country Office in Jamaica

Introduction and Context

In 2015, Panos Caribbean’s Voices for Climate Change Education Programme was a part of the Caribbean’s push to get Paris Agreement negotiators to accept 1.5 degrees Celsius as the absolute limit for global temperature rise above preindustrial levels. Aaron Silk from Jamaica and Adrian Martinez from Belize – performed at a week of lunch hour concerts at the United Nations Climate Talks in Paris advocating for the negotiators to include the 1.5 degrees Celsius. The artistes are therefore a part of history that was created when this position was included in the Paris Accord.

Fast forward eight years and 1.5 degrees Celsius is still very much an agreement on paper. The developed countries who are the biggest emitters of global-warming Greenhouse Gases (GHG) are not pulling their weight to ensure that the world can meet the 1.5 target. Jamaica and other Caribbean countries are experiencing some of the hottest summers in recent history. Rising sea levels are claiming our coastlines and longer droughts are risking our food security.

Call to Action

Therefore, we the artistes involved in the Voices for Climate Change Education programme are calling on the bigger Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitters such as the USA, China, and India to start taking steps to reduce their emissions through actions such as:
1) Reducing dependence on the oil industry and using more renewable energy.
2) Reducing deforestation globally, focusing on  critical forests such as the Amazon.
3) Doing more carbon capture - Partnering with countries to accelerate carbon capture, removal, use, and storage of technologies.

In Jamaica we want accelerated action that will protect our land and our people from  climate change impacts, with immediate attention on practical actions to cool down Jamaica. 
In support of the National Tree Planting Initiative, we call for:

1) Greater use of shade-producing trees to improve canopy coverage, carbon sequestration and to reduce ambient temperatures in urban spaces.
2) Greater use and retention of shade-producing hardwood trees instead of palms for new constructions as well as homes, offices, commercial spaces and educational institutions such as schools.
3) Greater attention to cooling down the hottest communities in Jamaica by partnering with them on strategic shade-producing tree planting exercises for their town centres, roadways, homes and establishments.

And in support of other climate change adaptation and mitigation measures we call for:
4) Expansion of the number of green spaces and parks.
5) Policies and regulations to activate a robust circular economy to reduce plastic pollution while providing new sources of income.

Recognizing the power of music and poetry to inspire social and behavioral change, we, personally commit to: 
6) Collaborating on message music and poetry to educate the people about the risks of global warming and the practical mitigation measures that can reduce climate change impacts  .

We, the artistes want to see stronger sustained action from industrialized nations to achieve 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature limit and more focused efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change at the national level, so we, our children, and upcoming generations in islands like Jamaica, can stay alive.