Ambassador E. Courtenay Rattray is the Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations, a post to which he was appointed on 1st June 2013. Prior to this appointment, he served as Jamaica’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, from December 2008 until May 2013. Ambassador E. Courtenay Rattray has chaired several UN inter-governmental negotiating processes and high-level meetings, including on financing for sustainable development, implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the reform of the UN Security Council. He is the Co-chair of the Group of Friends of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Financing in New York, as well as the current Chair of the Commission on Population and Development, ECOSOC.
The spectre of devastating global climate change darkens the prospects for development in both industrial and developing countries. The global climate system has already entered dangerous territory, with the impacts of man-made emissions increasing the probability of extreme weather events and irreversible damage to the global environment. During 2018, deaths from extreme weather events exceeded 5,000 people and more than 28 million required emergency or humanitarian aid. Munich Re, a global leader in the reinsurance sector, estimates that disasters, including tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, tsunamis, earthquakes and droughts, cost the global economy approximately US$ 160 billion last year.