Sunday 29 March, 2020

Kumarsingh: T&T's greenhouse gas emissions are not ok

Photo: Unsplash

Photo: Unsplash

Head of Multilateral Environmental Agreements at the Ministry of Planning and Development, Kishan Kumarsingh, said no one can escape the devastating effects of climate change unless measures are taken as per the Paris Agreement.

Kumarsingh was speaking at the launch of the Knowledge Management System (KMS) and the Pilot Project for the National Climate Mitigation Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) System for greenhouse gas emissions at the Hyatt Regency hotel on March 12, 2019.

“The Paris Agreement now applies to every country regardless of their respective contributions. We can no longer hide behind the veil and say we’re a small developing state and we only have a small amount of emissions and therefore we’ll be ok."

We’re not ok, no one is ok, no one will be ok until we stabilise temperatures to an acceptable level that will prevent a dangerous anthropogenic climate change,” he said.

(Photo L-R: Head of Multilateral Environmental Agreements at the Ministry of Planning and Development, Kishan Kumarsingh, Hayden Romano, director of the EMA, Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Alyson West, James Vener, Climate Specialist and Mitigation Economist - UNDP, and Fatima Zahra-Taibi, Senior Climate Change Expert, DTU.)

Kumarsingh said that Trinidad and Tobago as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), was one of the first members of the Agreement to submit its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

“Our NDC is a reduction of cumulative emissions from three category sectors – power generation, transportation and industry – by 15 percent, relative to our Business as Usual baseline by 2030.”

Kumarsingh said the Paris Agreement rule book has mandated that members adopt an enhanced transparency framework to ensure that these guidelines are met.

“Part of that preparation entails the operationalisation of the KMS and verification and reporting of MRV System,” he said.

The KMS will be housed and managed under the Environmental Management Authority to streamline the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’re a bit ahead of the game because we were probably the first country to be able to…institutionalise something that will be able to be operationalised fully within Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.

He added that tracking emissions would be ‘a bit of a challenge’ and would be considered a work in progress, which would be improved over time.

He also thanked the EMA for its role in the management of greenhouse gas emissions in Trinidad and Tobago.

Trinidad and Tobago has agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2030.


About the National MRV System

The National MRV System is intended to facilitate the collection, analysis, and transparent reporting of accurate and reliable information and data on Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs), efforts to mitigate them and resources devoted to enabling these efforts.

The KMS is the central repository for this information and data and includes methodologies, procedures and institutional frameworks.

Support for these systems is comprised of international and/or domestic resources and capacity building, that are utilised in the implementation of emission reduction measures.


About the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, starting in the year 2020.

The agreement's language was negotiated by representatives of 196 state parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties on 12 December 2015.

As of March 2019, 195 UNFCCC members have signed the agreement, and 185 have become party to it.

 The Paris Agreement's long-term goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels; and to limit the increase to 1.5 °C, since this would substantially reduce the risks and effects of climate change.

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