Thursday, 22 March 2012

Developing a national carbon reduction strategy


The Ministry of Housing and Environment (MHE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently began a project aimed at achieving environmentally sustainable development and a low carbon development path through the Elaboration of a Strategy for the Reduction of Carbon Emissions in Trinidad and Tobago.  

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a substantial part of GHGs due to its abundance, but GHGs also include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), methane and nitrous oxide. T&T, as the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas, has relatively significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The development of such energy intensive industries on a small physical land mass, coupled with the high level of urbanization, has created several environmental challenges, including increasing GHG emissions.

However, as a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Trinidad and Tobago is legally bound to contribute to the achievement of the Convention’s main objective: to stabilise GHGs in the atmosphere. As such, three major local industries were identified as potential sources for mitigation of GHG/CO2 emissions in Trinidad and Tobago through a baseline assessment of a national GHG emissions inventory:
  1. Power production
  2. Energy / Industrial processes
  3. Transport
Consequently, this project to elaborate a strategy for domestic GHG emissions reduction aims to:
  • Strengthen the capacity of relevant government ministries and agencies in assessing costs and benefits of sectoral development paths and the selection of low carbon alternatives
  • Develop a CO2 reduction strategy and policy through gap analyses, impact assessments, etc.
  • Establish an implementation structure for the CO2 reduction strategy
On Friday 16th March 2012, a meeting with the Project Team was held to finalize the duties and responsibilities of the consultants required, as the project moves into the first phase of procurement of both training and technical consultants.