Climate change poses acute developmental challenges: Trinidad and

butterfly on a flower

NARRATOR: For Trinidad and Tobago and other small Island developing states, climate change posed acute developmental challenges.

That's what the twin-island republic's delegate Ms. Rueanna Haynes told the General Assembly's Economic and financial Committee as it continued general discussion on sustainable development.

She joined other delegates in underlining the significance of the many different environmental challenges facing States, and stressing the need for a renewed focus on sustainable development at the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), despite the prevailing economic and financial crises.

TAPE: The inherent limitations of SIDS such as small size, low-lying coastal areas, lack of economies of scale, and resource and capacity constraints, places them in a pre-disposed position of vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change. The likely increase in the frequency of extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods and hurricanes, which call for disaster preparedness, prevention and management of post-disaster recovery, pose significant challenges in terms of financial, human, technical and technological capacity. These challenges are rendered even more severe in light of the present global financial and economic instability. At the local level, sea level rise, inundation of low-lying coastal areas and increasing sea surface temperatures as well as ocean acidification have already begun to negatively impact fisheries and agricultural productivity and are likely to erode some of the milestones achieved in fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs as well as to impede our efforts in attaining sustainable development.

NARRATOR: According to Ms. Haynes, although Trinidad and Tobago accounts for less than one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the country is committed to doing its part in achieving the stabilization of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere consistent with the objectives of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

TAPE: As a small island developing state, which is at the same time a net exporter of oil; and natural gas, Trinidad and Tobago intends to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and has already taken steps to diversify its economy. In line with its standing as a responsible member of the global community, Trinidad and Tobago has engaged in national activities geared toward realizing the objectives of the UNFCCC. These include: pursuing policy and initiatives to increase the use of new and innovative technologies that have lower levels of emissions; encouraging the use of clean energy technology, such as, natural gas technology and clean production technology; encouraging the use of renewable energies that have zero emissions; and adopting more energy-efficient technologies and practices. Additionally, the Ministry of Housing and the Environment has developed a Climate Change Policy.

NARRATOR: Ms. Haynes said that policy sought to address the impacts of climate change, including sectoral vulnerability, and mitigation potential in major emitting sectors; current and proposed legislation related to mitigation; the identification of gaps in the existing legislation; and finally, a Strategy and Action Plan.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 2’46″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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