Friday 30 October, 2020

Ministry launches climate action training for public, private sector

Photo: iStock

Photo: iStock

In an effort to meet the country's commitment to reduce carbon emissions, the Ministry of Planning and Development has launched climate action training for the private and public sector. 

In a statement issued today, the Ministry said it has developed the Private Investment Mobilization Training Program through its Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit (MEAU) in partnership with the Centre for Climate Strategies based in Washington DC, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Open Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

The Ministry said the programme aims to build capacity to develop and implement smart, shared solutions to climate change, economic development, social equity, and sustainabilit.

'This programme is especially geared to the public and private sectors of T&T to mobilize private investments for low carbon actions.'

The Ministry said training began Wednesday with participants from government Ministries, T&TEC, Shell Trinidad & Tobago, PowerGen, Airports Authority and Central Bank among others. 

The Ministry said the specific learning objectives of the training inter alia include:

  • Discussion, demonstration and analysis of baselines and policy goals for mitigating national greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and reaching other goals, such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Discussion and demonstration of how to identify, screen, select, and design Low Carbon Development (LCD) policy actions in all sectors with high potential for revenue generation and blended finance.
  • Discussion, demonstration and analysis of the financial and social costs and benefits of LCD actions, including risks, market feasibility, and financial needs.
  • Formation of business models for LCD actions, including cooperation mechanisms using Public Private Partnerships and blended finance mechanisms such as Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).
  • Outreach and involvement of public and private donors in LCD development to build their interests into the selection, design, and analysis of LCD actions and mechanisms.

The Ministry said the training curriculum has been developed by CCS and is in line with the evolving international best practices in climate finance planning and implementation.

The Programme, in its initial offering will be free to selected stakeholders from the public and private sectors, and will be delivered virtually through six webinars over a six-month period, with the first session carded for Wednesday October 14, 2020.

After the initial offering, the programme will be transferred to the Open Campus of the UWI for sustained administering.

Dr Emily Dick-Forde, Manager Special Initiative & Chair Campus Research Ethics Committee of the UWI said:

'Recalling our purpose to drive the growth and development of the region’s economy and keeping in sharp focus the threat from climate change, The University of the West Indies is pleased to partner with the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) and the UNDP to support the Ministry of Planning and Development, Trinidad and Tobago, through the provision of a platform for the delivery of this reformist Private Investment Mobilization Training course and to ensure its availability for future training of participants across the region.'

The Ministry said Trinidad and Tobago has committed to achieve a reduction objective in overall emissions from the power generation, transportation, and industrial sectors by 15 per cent by 2030 from a business-as-usual baseline.

The estimated cost of meeting this objective is USD $2 billion, which is expected to be met partly through domestic funding and conditional on international financing including through the Green Climate Fund.

Both domestic and international private finance would need to be leveraged.

According to Kishan Kumarsingh, Head of the MEAU: “Effectively addressing climate change to pursue low carbon and climate-resilient development must of necessity involve all stakeholders at the national, regional and international level, and must explore all possible and feasible avenues for leveraging the requisite financing, including through public-private partnerships. This training programme will create the necessary capacity to understand how this can be done.”

The Ministry said an NDC Financial Investment Plan is also being finalized to inform Government’s approach towards leveraging both public and private finance for climate action. All of this is congruent with the objectives of T&T’s National Climate Change Policy.

In support of Government’s public private partnership approach, Tom Peterson, President and CEO of the Center for Climate Strategies added the following:

'Public private collaboration is essential for mobilizing private investment to fill the major funding gap for implementation of NDCs and other sustainable development actions in Trinidad and Tobago and other countries. Through expert instruction and a learning by doing approach, trainees from the public and private sectors will learn how to work as partners to design, assess, and implement actions that mobilize investment and ensure success of these critical programs.'

'This Training Program represents a unique opportunity for stakeholders to strengthen their capacities to implement low carbon actions and projects across different sectors, including leveraging private sector funds and the potential for public-private-partnerships. It is critical that the public and private sector work together to identify key opportunities, as well as to design and assess them in a way to attract and leverage the required flow of funds.'

Cassie Flynn Strategic Advisor on Climate Change & Head of the Climate Promise said:

'Recognizing the urgent need to scale up private investment to enable ambitious climate action in Trinidad & Tobago, the Ministry of Planning and Development demonstrates leadership and innovation both in the region and worldwide through its support of the new Private Investment Mobilization Training course partnership with UNDP, University of West Indies and Center for Climate Strategies'.

Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis emphasized the importance of this project in meeting Government’s drive to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG13), Climate Action, through T&T’s National Development Strategy, Vision 2030. 

'As part of Government’s continued thrust towards contributing positively to climate change, we have placed the environment at the centre of social and economic development, evidenced by investments in alternative energy such as the creation of the region’s largest solar project mentioned in the recent 2021 Budget presentation on October 5.'

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