Act, Chapter 77:01 (Act 13 of 1963 last amended by Act 46 of 2013) ( 2000 )

This Act establishes the Green Fund to financially assist organisations and community groups that are engaged in activities related to remediation, reforestation and conservation of the environment. Effect from 1 January 2001, the 0.1% Green Fund Levy applies on gross sales or receipts of a company carrying on business in Trinidad and Tobago. The Green…read more

Innovation for Lasting Prosperity: Medium Term Policy Framework (MTPF) 2011-2014 ( 2011 )

This Policy outlines the government’s intent on the socio-economic transformation that needs to take place in order to commit for the “Prosperity for All”. The seven development pillars for sustainable development are: - People-centred development - Poverty eradication and social justice - National and personal security - Information and communication technologies - A more diversified,…read more

National Climate Change Policy ( 2011 / Mitigation and adaptation Framework )

The National Climate Change Policy provides policy guidance to develop administrative and legislative framework for the pursuance of the country’s low carbon development through suitable and relevant climate strategies including sectoral and cross sectoral adaptation and mitigation measures. The Policy will be revised every five years with public review to determine effectiveness in achieving the…read more

National Forest Policy ( 2011 )

This Policy addresses the need for new legislation and revisions of the following legislation to put the National Forest Policy into effect: - Environmental Management Act - Forest Act - Sawmills Act - Conservation of Wildlife Act - other key relevant laws and regulations. This Policy is formulated based on the understanding of relationship between…read more

Comprehensive Economic Development Plan for Tobago: Clean, Green, Safe and Serene ( 2006 )

The Plan sets out the strategies and development initiatives for Tobago for a period of four years. Proposals include the following: - Full devolution of national agencies such as the Environmental Management Authority and the Town and Country Planning Division to the THA - Establishment of electricity generation plant to produce ultra-high quality and reliable…read more

National Environmental Policy ( 2006 )

The National Environmental Policy focuses on GHG mitigation, particularly due to the country being a hydrocarbon producing country. It recognises the vulnerability of Trinidad and Tobago to climate change as a small island state. The Policy advocates the implementation of commitments under the UNFCCC as follows: - Conservation and enhancement of natural ecosystems that serve…read more

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

15% (equivalent of 103,000,000 tCO2e) reduction in GHG emissions from power generation, transportation and industrial sectors by 2030 compared to the BAU scenario; 30% (or 1,700,000 tCO2e) (unconditional) reduction in GHG emissions from public transport by December 31, 2030 compared to 2013

Economy Wide | Baseline Scenario Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: business as usual scenario

Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Agriculture

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Buildings

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environment

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Health

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Industry

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

LULUCF

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tourism

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Transportation

NDC Laws and National Policies

-30% below BAU

Transport: General

Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Urban

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Waste

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Water

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Trinidad and Tobago signed the UNFCCC in 1992, and ratified the Convention in 1994. It ratified the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol as a non-Annex-I Country in 1999. The First National Communication was submitted in 2001 and the Second National Communication in 2013. The country is in the process of preparing its Third National Communication.

In 1990 the government established a Working Group to Determine the Implications of Global Warming, Climate Change and Sea Level Rise. The Working Group has representation from relevant government ministries, NGOs and the private sector, and is currently chaired by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA). The EMA is a statutory body under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources is responsible for implementing the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol responsibilities and is also the focal point and implementing body for the multilateral environmental agreements to which Trinidad and Tobago is party.

While Trinidad and Tobago does not have a law dedicated to carbon reductions, the country recognises the importance of climate change issues and has a number of arrangements and measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. As per the obligations assumed under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, the Government established a Carbon Reduction Strategies (CRS) Task Force and a National Climate Change Policy (NCCP), both under the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

The CRS Task Force was launched in 2010. It aims to create a national carbon reduction strategy; develop a regulatory and policy environment for carbon capture, storage, utilisation and credit trading; and recommend suitable projects and incentives to attract corporate investments and researchers interested in the carbon reduction initiatives. The project to develop the National Carbon Reduction Strategy is expected to be completed between 2015 and 2016. The Strategy will involve a capacity building programme designed for Government ministries and agencies, and a feasibility study of intervention options to identify greenhouse gas reduction opportunities.

The NCCP is the overarching climate policy that provides administrative and legislative framework for climate change mitigation and adaptation and guidance for low-carbon development in the country. The NCCP, an executive policy approved by the Cabinet in 2011, and it summarises key climate change objectives and sets the necessary actions to achieve them.

In addition to these two policies, the National Environmental Policy (2006) addresses climate mitigation, mandating the inventorying of GHG emissions, the maintenance of stakeholder involvement to develop technologies to curtail GHG emissions, and the conservation of forests (along with coastal and marine ecosystems) that act as sinks of GHGs. Climate change is also recognised as a central concern in national planning documents. Both the 2006 Comprehensive Economic Development Plan for Tobago and the 2011 Medium Term Policy Framework note the importance of low carbon technologies and management of climate risks within development planning efforts.

At the regional level, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) co-ordinates the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) response to climate change. Established in 2005, the Centre is the key node for information on climate change issues and on the region’s response to managing and adapting to it. It is the official repository and clearing house for regional climate change data, providing climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to CARICOM member States through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognised by the UNFCCC, UNEP, and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean Community.

Energy supply

Trinidad and Tobago is the largest producer of oil and gas in the Caribbean. According to the BP Statistical Review, oil reserves as of 2013 are estimated at 0.8bn barrels (daily production of 118,000 barrels) and natural gas reserves are estimated at of 0.4trn cubic metres (produced 42.8bn cubic metres). The Government has launched a major project in the energy sector to recover 44m barrels of heavy oil reserves, principally funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The electricity price (USD0.03 per kWh) is the lowest in the Caribbean (compare this to USD0.35 in Barbados and USD0.38 in Antigua and Barbuda).

The NCCP establishes a policy directive for the government to develop a renewable energy policy and standards and fiscal incentives for domestic renewable energy production. Prior to the NCCP, a Renewable Energy Committee (REC) was established in 2008 to: review the energy balance and conduct a current state assessment of renewable energy application; identify feasible and practical renewable energy technologies; to set realisable targets and timeframes for renewable energy; to make recommendations of incentives; and to identify appropriate research and development, opportunities for linkages between industrial plants and renewable energy producers, mechanisms and strategies to finance renewable energy projects, and legislation and regulations necessary to develop the use of renewable energy.

A renewable energy policy is under development, and the framework report to the Renewable Energy Committee (2011) identified the need for measures in the following sectors: training and education; electricity sector; residential, commercial and other establishments; industry; and transportation. The primary objective is to identify and examine strategies and make recommendations to introduce renewable energy into the local energy mix. The proposed energy supply actions to achieve this goal are: to promote the use of renewable energy through education, training and capacity building; to pursue research and development in renewable energy technologies; to encourage private sector participation and investment in renewable energy; and to develop industrial capacity to move forward with the appropriate plans and programmes. Recommendations include educating the public on renewable energy, introduction of government-sponsored renewable energy grant and scholarship schemes, introduction of tax deductions and grants for the use of renewable energy, and developing a register of local renewable energy business and technology providers. The report also indicates that creating a renewable energy and energy efficiency agency is essential to assess and audit local energy market and implementation measures.

Energy demand

The NCCP also stresses the importance of energy efficiency in buildings and in all GHG-emitting sectors. Additionally, the 2011 framework report to the Renewable Energy Committee identified measures for the promotion of energy efficiency along the same lines as for energy supply: through education, training and capacity building; pursuing research and development in energy efficiency technologies; encouraging private sector participation and investment in energy efficiency; developing industrial capacity to implement the appropriate plans and programmes. The framework report also recommends educating the public about energy efficiency, and including local energy efficiency business and technology providers and experts in green building design and construction in the registry of local energy businesses (discussed above for energy supply).

REDD+ and LULUCF

The National Forest Policy (2011) addresses the role of forests in the reduction of GHGs. It aims to promote reforestation and conservation of forests to increase the carbon sink contribution of forests and to utilise forests as an early warning system to detect the impacts of climate change. The National Forest Policy recognizes that the ecological sustainability and economic viability of so-called production forestry is not well understood and therefore needs to be studied.

Transportation

According to the Second National Communication to the UNFCCC, GHG emissions from the transportation sector quadrupled between 1999 and 2005, which is correlated with the increase in the total number of registered vehicles. Current improvement efforts include a project to “green” the dedicated bus transportation route running between the most densely populated areas of the country, called the Priority Bus Route. Changing diesel-fuelled buses to compressed natural gas (CNG) and replacing conventional grid-powered street and traffic lights with solar power are included in the project. The Government has declared in the NCCP that the country will increase the use of CNG as an alternative fuel for motor vehicles.

Adaptation

Trinidad and Tobago consists of two islands, and is vulnerable to changes in precipitation, temperature and sea level. Rainfall variability is influenced by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the average precipitation of wet season (June to August) since 1960 has decreased by 6.1 mm per month (2.6%) per decade. The country has observed a temperature increase of 1.7°C between 1961 and 2008. Sea level is reported to have increased by 1.6mm to 3mm annually between 1984 and 1992, and is projected to increase by a further 13cm to as much as 56cm by 2100. The NCCP lists adaptation as one of the six pillars of climate policy directives and strategies, which are to be integrated into the national development agenda. Beyond national efforts, Trinidad and Tobago has also been participating in regional responses through the climate change and adaptation projects in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). One of the project series aimed at building capacity for climate change adaptation involved three phases: Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change (CPACC), Adaptation to Climate Change in the Caribbean (ACCC) and Mainstreaming Adaptation to Climate Change (MACC). These projects established the basis of financial self-sustainability for the CCCCC, the repository and clearing house for climate change related data and information, developed a draft regional public education and outreach strategy, developed a guide to assist environmental impact assessment practitioners in CARICOM countries, launched a Masters programme in climate change and statistically downscaled climate scenarios development.

To date, Trinidad and Tobago does not have any litigation listed.

Trinidad and Tobago is a unitary republic, which gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1962. Legislative power is vested in the bicameral Parliament, which is based on the Westminster system and consists of the Senate (Upper House) and the House of Representatives (Lower House). Among the 31 members of the Senate, 16 are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, 6 on the Opposition Leader’s advice, and 9 Independent Senators are appointed by the President to represent other sectors of civil society. The 41 members of the House of Representatives are elected every five years by the public. The last national level election for the House of Representatives took place in 2010 and the next election is expected to take place in 2015. The President is both the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces. The President is elected for a five-year term by secret ballot of the Electoral College, which consists of all Members of Parliament. The responsibility of the President includes the assenting to bills and appointment of the Prime Minister, Senators and other officials. The last presidential election took place in 2013, and the next election is expected to take place in 2018.

The Ministry of Local Government oversees municipal implementations to “convey the policy perspectives and guidelines of the central government”. In Trinidad, there are 14 Municipal Corporations (2 city, 3 borough and 9 regional corporations) responsible for local affairs and implementations within the island. The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is the local government body created by the Constitution for the “purpose of making better provision for the administration of the Island of Tobago and for matters connected therewith”, which carries out some responsibilities of the central government. Tobago is administered as a single county and it consists of 12 local electoral districts with each district electing one member to the THA.

The draft of a legislative proposal is called a Bill, and there are two types of Bills: private Bills, related to private rights or interest of particular persons; and public Bills, also known as government Bills, which are related to public interest. A government Bill can be introduced by either house, and must be approved by the Cabinet prior to its introduction in Parliament. Bills should be approved by each House by majority of those present and voting; for constitutional amendments, three quarters or two thirds of the votes of the Members are required in each House, depending on the nature of the Constitutional amendment required. Once the Bill passes both Houses, it is presented to the President for assent or approval. Assent of the President formally converts the Bill into an Act of Parliament.

Last modified 28 February, 2018