Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 9th 2015 Contents BG16 COMMENTARY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt APRIL 2015 • WEEK TWO
During the first general
meeting of the Energy
Chamber s Membership
for 2015, Gary Clyne pre-
sented on the Energy
Chamber s pre-feasibility
study for a carbon emis-
sion trading scheme (ETS). This project attract-
ed a great deal of attention from members of
the Energy Chamber and the media alike.
The ETS is quite technical and understanding
the process under which it is being submitted
is of quintessential importance.
It is hoped that the ETS will be submitted
as the intended nationally determined con-
tribution (INDC), or part of the INDC for T&T.
The United Nations---in an attempt to deal
with global carbon emissions, through the UN
Framework Convention for Climate Change
(UNFCCC)---asks sovereign countries to pro-
pose their own plan for dealing with climate
change and carbon reduction strategies.
The INDC---expected to be submitted by
individual countries---is essentially a plan of
how nations will address climate change and
set their own targets for reducing their impact
on climate change.
This allows for a bottom up approach where
countries can establish realistic expectations
with regard to reducing their carbon emissions.
In the past, attempts to reduce carbon emis-
sions were top down, with the international
community setting targets for countries which
were unrealistic and subsequently unmet which
has led to the need for new agreement which
will be signed later this year.
The overall goal of the UNFCCC in this
process is two-fold: to stabilise green-house
gas (GHG) concentrations and limit global
warming to two degrees Celsius (above pre-
It is felt that at such levels, dangerous climate
change would be mitigated as was agreed upon
at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference
in 2009. A review of this is expected this year.
This process will come to an end in Decem-
ber 2015 at the Paris Climate Change Summit
where the proposals submitted will be dis-
cussed, with the intention to create a new
international climate agreement.
The initial deadline of March 31 was a first
deadline for countries to publicly and globally
outline their climate change initiatives for
those countries that are in a position to provide
T&T, along with over 180 countries, were
expected to submit their INDCs but have not
met this initial deadline and, to date, only
seven countries have submitted.
The ultimate deadline, however, for all out-
standing intended nationally determined con-
tributions (INDCs) submissions is October 1,
2015 in order for them to be included in a
report which analyses their total impact on
global climate change. The report will be pub-
lished by the UNFCCC in November, prior to
the Paris Climate Change Summit.
Who met the deadline?
There were seven countries that submitted
their INDCs prior to March 31. They include:
Switzerland, European Union (EU), Norway,
Mexico, United States of America, Russia and
Gabon. Many of the world s major economies
and major emitters of GHGs have not yet sub-
mitted including Brazil, China, India, Australia
This is what the countries have submitted
• European Union:
The EU proposes that they will reduce their
emissions by 40 per cent from 1990 levels by
2030. The INDC also proposes that there will
be a reduction of 60 per cent below 2010
levels by 2050.
The EU has also indicated that this does
not include purchases of emission cuts from
This INDC pledges to cut the Swiss emis-
sions by 50 per cent, below 1990 levels by
2030. The INDC addresses the following sec-
tors: energy, industrial process, land use,
forestry and waste.
• United States of America:
USA, Russia and Gabon all submitted on
the last day of the deadline. The USA promised
to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent below
2005 levels by 2025. The USA also states that
they will reduce economy wide emissions by
80 per cent by 2050.
Russia proposes to limit its anthropogenic
greenhouse gases to 70-75 per cent of its 1990
levels by 2030 which ought to be aligned with
the absorption capacity of its forests.
Mexico has been the only emerging market
to submit an INDC by the March deadline
and has proposed that it will offer an uncon-
ditional cap on its GHG emissions by 2026.
They have also indicated that they will reduce
emissions by 22 per cent below their normal
emissions and pledged to reduce black carbon
emissions by 51 per cent by 2030.
Norway has proposed that they will cut its
emissions by 40 per cent from 1990 levels by
2030. The INDC also indicates that they can
increase their ambitions by 2050.
There is no translation of the Gabon INDC
document to date.
The carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS)
being proposed by the Energy Chamber has
the potential to be uploaded as an INDC or
it can form the basis for carbon emission
reductions in T&T. Though the ETS has its
origins in the energy sector, it can be scalable
to include industrial efficiencies, and transport
(switch to CNG) or any other sector that gen-
erates carbon credits for trade. The project is
certainly ambitious and equitable since the
spillover effects will be the funding of green
energy or renewable energy projects here and
other Caribbean countries.
While the ETS can be submitted as an INDC,
it must be approved by Cabinet, since it will
become a national commitment. The Energy
Chamber is continuing to work with the Min-
istry of Environment and Water Resources
through its Multilateral Environmental Agree-
ments Unit, Environmental Policy and Planning
Division to ensure that the INDC that is sub-
mitted before the final October 1 deadline.
The Energy Chamber is continuing its work
on the ETS and will be working with the Euro-
pean Commission (EC). The EC has identified
the ETS as one of five projects for which case
studies will be developed as good models for
carbon trading which have unique elements
within them which can be emulated in other
countries. It is anticipated the case studies
will be presented and discussed in Paris.
In addition, the EC will partner with the
Energy Chamber to host a two-day workshop
in May to develop a carbon trading template
and to further discuss project feasibility. It is
anticipated that a number of international cli-
mate stakeholders, trading partners, advisors
and consultants will attend.
For further details on this project please
contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org
A global plan to deal with
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