A group representing Trinidad and Tobago’s energy sector has called for Caribbean governments to establish a regional emissions trading scheme to help the islands attract investment in clean energy projects from rich nations looking to outsource their carbon cuts under a new UN pact, local media reported on Thursday.
The Trinidad and Tobago Energy Chamber said such a scheme could also help the region “make significant dents” its own carbon emissions under a new global climate change agreement to be agreed at UN talks in Paris later this year, according to local newspaper Newsday.
The proposal, introduced by Energy Chamber president and CEO Thackwray Driver, will be part of Trinidad and Tobago’s INDC submission to the UN, the paper said. The EU and Switzerland are the only two parties that have submitted their INDCs to the UNFCCC to date, according to the body’s website.
Driver said a Caribbean carbon market could help the region move beyond the Clean Development Mechanism, under which new investment has stalled as nations wrangle over a new global climate agreement.
The EU has moved to limit its CER buying to projects in only the world’s poorest nations, of which Haiti is the only Caribbean country.
Trinidad and Tobago is the Caribbean’s largest producer of oil and gas, giving the two islands’ the region’s highest CO2 and among the highest income per capita, but putting the country’s finances at risk from falling crude oil prices.
Gary Clyne of the Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago added that the Energy Chamber could act as a broker for local energy companies who are seeking to reduce their emissions, and facilitate deals between them and foreign entities.
“We’ll have a trade floor at the chamber that handles international transactions to make sure that carbon credits meet standards and that transactions meet all international rules,” he said, as quoted by Newsday.
“So every time you reduce a metric tonne of pollution, you can earn money, and you know, we’re looking at markets, that after this Paris agreement is signed, that might be (worth) US$15 a metric tonne.”
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org