Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 23rd 2015 Contents A24
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, November 23, 2015
Do street protests work? IAMove-
ment puts this to the test on
November 29, when the Port-of-
Spain to Paris People s Climate March
kicks off at 3 pm from Nelson Mandela
The purpose of the Climate March is
to join hundreds of thousands of other
climate activists around the world in
demanding that governments negotiate
real, binding commitments to reduce car-
bon emissions at the COP 21 climate
change talks in Paris. Those talks start on
The tool of the negotiations is the
Intended Nationally Determined Contri-
butions or INDCs. INDCs communicate
how countries intend to reduce their car-
bon emissions and by how much. What
each country pledges to do is totally vol-
untary but once the INDCs are agreed
upon in Paris, they must be binding for
the agreement to have value.
Scientists and activists expect good
INDCs. IAMovement co-founder
Jonathan Barcant doesn t think that T&T
is committing itself enough. Barcant said:
"We only commit fully to 30 per cent
public transport emission reduction. That
amounts to 1-2 per cent total greenhouse
gas reductions at most.
"I don t think that it is fair. T&T is a
massive fossil fuel producer. T&T has
enjoyed income from the fossil fuel
industry and now we have the responsi-
bility to invest in carbon reduction proj-
ects to reduce our impacts."
T&T has the world s second highest
per capita greenhouse gas emissions. It
has made hundreds of billions from its
fossil fuel industry.
T&T has also made a conditional
agreement to reduce total GHG emissions
by 15 per cent but makes this conditional
on international funding from the Green
Climate Fund. The Green Climate Fund
itself is supposed to be funded to the
tune of US$100 bn annually but so far it
has only attracted investments of about
What have some Caribbean countries
St Vincent and the Grenadines intends
to unconditionally reduce its economy-
wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by
22 per cent compared to its business as
usual scenario by 2025. In real terms
SVG will effectively have the same GHG
emissions in 2025 that it has today.
Dominica commits to a 44.7 per cent
reduction from 2014 levels.
Barbados will reduce its GHGs by 44
per cent compared to its business as
usual scenario by 2030.
A good INDC is ambitious and drives
change and innovation in carbon inten-
sive sectors and industry; it is transpar-
ent. Stakeholders must be able to track
progress and ensure that countries meet
their stated goals. INDCs must also be
equitable. Each country must do its fair
share to address climate change. Is a 30
per cent unconditional reduction in
emissions from public transport equi-
Let s first look at what the Caribbean
has to lose. The Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC) is a conserva-
tive organisation. IPCC outlook for the
Caribbean is a 5-6 per cent decrease in
rainfall, a 1.2°C to 2.3°C increase in
median surface temperature and sea level
rise of 0.5m to 0.6m.
In short, rainfall patterns are changing
and will change further. Sea level rise will
erode coastlines. The Caribbean can
expect more and more severe storms.
Droughts will challenge water supplies
and agriculture. So we are talking radical
effects on our living space, the food we
need to grow and our drinking water.
These are basic needs. Life is not possible
Caribbean islands are economically vul-
nerable. Climate change will make this
worse. It is difficult to state with certain-
ty how or if Tropical Storm Erika, which
hit Dominica earlier this year, was affect-
ed by climate change. What we do know
is that these storms will be more fre-
The damage done to Dominica was
about 50 per cent of its GDP. In what
may be the Caribbean s first industrial
climate change victim, Colgate-Palmolive
decided to close its Dominica factory,
damaged by Erika.
I m going to chime in with Barcant and
say that I do not think that T&T has
committed itself enough. We are selling
ourselves short. There is great opportuni-
ty in setting an ambitious carbon target.
For decades T&T has been the victim of
the ups and downs of the fossil fuel
Economic recessions and consumerist
booms, in tandem with the ups and
downs of international oil futures, have
ruled Trinidadian and Tobagonian lives.
The result is mixed. There is great
wealth in some quarters. Porsche
Cayennes glide past the gang-dominated
shanties on the Beetham Highway. There
has been a dramatic increase in the stan-
dard of living for many but we have
never developed a diverse, sustainable
Nearly two centuries after emancipa-
tion, and more than half a century after
independence, we are still a single com-
modity plantation economy. What inde-
pendent country determines its budget
by the price of oil?
Ambitious INDC goals will force T&T
to innovate and diversify. It will force
T&T to become a real economy and not
just an oil or gas wellhead to be taxed.
Our reserves are nearing a critical phase.
To continue the status quo is a non-
option. Let s enshrine that in T&T s
Come to the PoS-Paris Climate March
and demand ambition and positive
Pan Trinbago's Pan in D Country Side 2015 was
fantastic. All participants and patrons agreed that
it was one of the best. In this, the last such event for
2015, a number of steelbands volunteered to give
their services free of charge, to raise funds to assist
three icons of the South/Central region in attaining
Out of the bands wishing to participate, only
seven were selected. The programme started at
about 4 pm with radio I95.5 fm streaming live from
Rio Claro. The president, Keith Diaz and councillor R
Nagassar of the Rio Claro Regional Corporation wel-
Fusion Steel, with vocals and their youthful vibra-
tion, kicked things off, followed by Hatters Steel Or-
chestra. Then came New Age Trendsetters Steel, led
by Glenford Sobers, one of the awardees, followed by
host band Rio Claro Koskeros Steel led by another
awardee---who both gave sterling accounts of them-
Also featured was the Showstoppers Tassa Group
who had everyone on their feet. The Friends of Pan
Trinbago, a group of volunteers working together to
assist the organisation then made cash presenta-
tions of $1,000 to each of the three icons.
Receiving envelopes were honourees Glenford
Sobers and Kenny Pascal. Chairman of South/Central
David Balbosa, received on behalf Lennox "Sam" For-
tune, who was in hospital at the time.
Contributions were taken and the crowd gave
generously towards defraying the cost of automated
Supernovas Steel Orchestra followed by Witco
Desperadoes, left nothing to chance as they rendered
hit after hit. Following was San City Steel Symphony,
who treated the crowd to the power of brass and
The programme closed off with Fusion Steel per-
forming to near midnight, leaving a satisfied crowd.
South Central Region collected over $4,000 towards
our goal of $90,000 for wheelchairs. What an out-
pouring of love it was.
The Tenor Pan raffle donated by the president and
the Pan Case from South/Central region was drawn
on November 11. The winner was Neil Lesaldo of
Sheet 66. Pan Trinbago expresses thanks for all the
support received. May everyone have an enjoyable
Christmas and a bright, prosperous 2016 as steel-
bands continue to prepare for Panorama and Carni-
val.Judging from the looks of the Rio Claro crowd on
November 7, it brings to mind a line from a Curtis
Mayfield song that says: "Many think that we have
blown it, but they too, will soon admit, there's still a
lot of love amongst us" as we keep on keeping on.
Bless! Continue to support the steelband movement
as we move ahead.
Michael L Joseph
Public Relations Officer, Pan Trinbago Inc
MARC DE VERTEUIL
SETTING CARBON STANDARDS So much love among us...
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