Skip to content

Jamaica Sectors

What is Jamaicaʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Power sector in 2030

Jamaica’s power sector is heavily dominated by fossil fuels which are responsible for 89% of the country’s electricity generation. Oil makes up 68% of the total energy mix, with the remaining 21% coming from fossil gas. The share of renewable energy in Jamaica’s power sector was 11% in 2019.8

1.5°C compatible pathways for Jamaica indicate a need to increase the share of renewable energy from 11% in 2019 to a range of 57–72% of the power mix by 2030. Currently, the country has a target to increase the share of renewable energy to 20% by 2030 and 50% by 2037. These targets are not compatible with the Paris Agreement – to embark on a 1.5°C pathway, Jamaica should triple its 2030 renewable energy target.

To be in line with 1.5°C pathways, Jamaica’s power sector would need to be fully decarbonised between 2038 and 2040, driven by a full phase-out of fossil fuels.

1 Ministry of Energy. National Renewable Energy Policy 2009 – 2030 … Creating a Sustainable Future. Energy Policy. (2010).

2 Cooper, R. Jamaica to run on 50% renewable energy by 2030. Climate Action. (2018).

3 World Bank. Assessment of Jamaica’s Climate Change Mitigation Potential and Implications for its Updated NDC: Sectoral Modelling and Analysis. (2020).

4 Government of Jamaica. Government of Jamaica Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Biennial Update Report of Jamaica. (2016).

5 World Bank & IBRD. Jamaica’s Long-Term Climate Change Strategy Recommendations. (2021).

6 Gütschow, J., Günther, A. & Pflüger, M. The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series v2.3 (1750-2019). (2021)

7 Climate Watch. Jamaica Climate Change Data. Climate Watch. (2022).

8 IEA. World Energy Balances 2019. (2021).

9 Government of Jamaica. Update of Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Jamaica. (2020).

10 OECD. Taxing Energy Use for Sustainable Development – Jamaica. (2018).

11 Government of Jamaica. National Policy for the Trading of Carbon Credits 2010-2030. (2010).

12 NDC Support Facility. Development of 2050 Low Emissions and Climate Resilience Strategy in Jamaica. (2021).

13 Note that there are significant discrepancies between Jamaica’s reported emissions from 2016 in its Biennial Update Report, reflected in the dataset used in this analysis PRIMAP-Hist, and Jamaica’s Long Term Strategy Recommendations based on Climate Watch GHG emissions dataset. As Jamaica’s updated NDC only covers the energy and LULUCF sectors, we have assumed an emissions growth for the IPPU and Waste sectors following the last 10 years trend, and for the agriculture sector, that the share of emissions in 2030 remains the same as the current share in total GHG emissions.

14 Ministry of Science, Energy & Technology. Integrated Resource Plan A 20 Year Roadmap to Sustain and Enable Jamaica’s Electricity Future. (2018).

15 Historical reported emissions for the agriculture sector are deviating significantly from the PRIMAP-Hist – Country reported 2021 dataset to other third party reported GHG – such as the CAIT Climate Watch dataset used in recent studies to inform the development of Jamaica’s Long Term Strategy. On the total GHG emissions excluding LULUCF in 2017 for example, the difference is of around 60%.
In order to assess Jamaica’s NDC we have used the PRIMAP-Hist Country Reported dataset, also used for the estimation of the 1.5°C compatible benchmarks. As Jamaica’s updated NDC covers only the energy sector and the LULUCF sector, we have assumed an emissions growth for the IPPU and Waste sectors following the last 10 years trend, and for the agriculture sector that the share of emissions in 2030 remains the same as the current share over total GHG emissions.

16 Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation. Third National Communication (Issue October).

Jamaicaʼs power mix

terawatt-hour per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
SSP1 High CDR reliance
Low energy demand
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • Renewables incl. biomass
  • Unabated fossil
  • Nuclear and/or fossil with CCS
  • Negative emissions technologies via BECCS

Jamaicaʼs power sector emissions and carbon intensity


  • Historical emissions
  • High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • Low energy demand

1.5°C compatible power sector benchmarks

Carbon intensity, renewable generation share, and fossil fuel generation share from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Jamaica

Decarbonised power sector by
Carbon intensity of power
160 to 270
2038 to 2040
Relative to reference year in %
−75 to −58%
−101 to −100%
Year of phase-out
Share of unabated coal
Share of unabated gas
9 to 12
0 to 1
2038 to 2040
Share of renewable energy
57 to 72
92 to 100
98 to 100
Share of unabated fossil fuel
28 to 42
0 to 3


Demand shifting towards the power sector

The 1.5°C compatible pathways analysed here tend to show a strong increase in power generation and installed capacities across time. This is because end-use sectors (such as transport, buildings or industry) are increasingly electrified under 1.5°C compatible pathways, shifting energy demand to the power sector. Globally, the “high energy demand” pathway entails a particularly high degree of renewable energy-based electrification across the various sectors, and sees a considerable increase in renewable energy capacities over time. See the power section for capacities deployment under the various models.

Jamaicaʼs renewable electricity investments

Billion USD / yr


Yearly investment requirements in renewable energy

Across the set of 1.5°C pathways that we have analysed, annual investments in renewable energy excluding BECCS increase in Jamaica to be on the order of USD 0.1 to 1 billion by 2030 and 0.2 to 2 billion by 2040 depending on the scenario considered. The ‘High CDR’ scenario, which shows comparatively lower annual investments into renewables, has lower levels of electrification and at the global level relies more on carbon capture and storage and negative emissions technologies – which themselves can require high up-front costs and face sustainability constraints.