It is a distinct honour and pleasure to address you on the occasion of this signing ceremony. As we continue to experience mounting evidence of a changing climate system, with recordbreaking average global temperatures, widespread coral bleaching events, and increasingly severe natural disasters, it is clear that the signing of the Paris agreement is indeed only the very beginning of the global effort to address this growing challenge. The imperative of early entry into force, full implementation, and more ambitious action under the Paris Agreement is now more urgent than ever.
Yesterday we discussed plans to implement the 2030 sustainable development agenda. An agenda designed to improve the lives of all people everywhere and to preserve the environment for present and future generations. Given the high level of complementarity between the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement, Trinidad and Tobago is of the view that our efforts to address climate change must be situated in the context of the broader development paradigm in order to be truly effective.
In keeping with this, the Government is currently finalizing its long term development policy document VISION 2030, which proposes to align its domestic development plans, including addressing climate change, with the targets and goals of the Sustainable Development Goals and Trinidad and Tobago’s nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement.
Trinidad and Tobago is also taking a number of other actions in preparation for implementation of the Paris Agreement. As a priority, we have launched a process to revise the National Climate Change Policy taking into account the Paris Agreement and the SDGs as well as the latest scientific evidence from the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC). The revised policy will set the blueprint for the climate change action agenda for Trinidad and Tobago.
To this end, a comprehensive analysis of the existing policy and legislative framework for implementing the climate change policy has been done with a view to amending or drafting as appropriate, policy and legislation that will create an amenable enabling environment for climate action and sustainable development.
Trinidad and Tobago wishes to reaffirm its commitment to increasing ambition over time to address the issue of climate change. In this regard, and notwithstanding the mainly energy-based economy of Trinidad and Tobago, the Government has committed to maximizing the use of renewable energy in the energy mix starting with a target of 10% renewable energy by 2021.
Given that the two most readily available renewable resources are solar and wind energy, a comprehensive study on wind feasibility is soon to be conducted with a view to deploying wind turbine technology and so ramp up the proportion of renewables in the energy mix.
Moreover, Government has already instituted fiscal incentives and disincentives for maximizing deployment of alternative fuels and hybrid fuel technology in the transportation sector. Already the public transportation bus fleet is being replaced by CNG fueled buses and we will be exploring the feasibility of electric buses taking into consideration the characteristics of our transport system. Government will also be exploring and encouraging investment opportunities in renewable energy and clean technologies for its power generation and industrial sectors.
Partnership with all stakeholders will be required for these plans to come to fruition. Government has therefore also committed to consultations with all stakeholders for the development of a Low Emissions Capacity Building (LECB) programme as well as an implementation plan for our nationally determined contribution.
With our signature of the Paris Agreement, Trinidad and Tobago commits itself to uphold the spirit and purpose of the agreement, to work toward the achievement of its nationally determined contribution, and to work with the global community in taking action on climate change in order to secure the future of its people.
I thank you.
View official document – Statement by Minister Moses at Signing Ceremony for Paris Climate Change Agreement