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Government committed to environmental protection

Published: 
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Camille Robinson-Regis

The Ministry of Planning and Development is finalising an indicator that will seek to achieve carbon reduction targets.

Finalisation of this indicator may see the ministry again be eligible for EU funding for Climate Change and Sustainability Programme.

Last week, this paper reported that the Government may have lost up to $18 million (TT) in funding due to its failure to achieve specific indicators, outlined by the prior government.

In response, the Ministry of Planning has said the new indicators developed by the ministry will be consistent with the policy directions proposed in T&T’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, which seeks to reduce emissions in the transport sector as a whole as well as under the provisions of the National Climate Change Policy.

The ministry anticipated that this new indicator would be finalised by end of July 2017, as the next step includes consultations with key stakeholders in this sector.

The ministry said the Government was moving ahead with its plan to reduce its cumulative public transportation greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent or 1,700,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents compared to 2013 levels by December 31, 2030.

“As a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, Trinidad and Tobago is also committed to conditionally reduce its cumulative carbon emissions by 15 per cent in the power generation, transport and industrialised sectors by 2030, which is equivalent to 103 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.”

T&T was the first Caribbean country to communicate its international commitment, also called the Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement to the United Nations in August 2015.

The ministry said the new indicators were consistent with Government’s current environmental policy through Theme V of the National Development Strategy (2016-2030).

Vision 2030 commits to “Placing the environment at the centre of social and economic development.”

The ministry said the Government was already working on achieving the goals which include strengthening environmental management and governance systems, reducing T&T’s carbon footprint, assessing our climate vulnerability and creating comprehensive waste and pollution management systems among others.