In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, environmental issues remained top-of-mind.
Here are some of the developments on the environment front in Trinidad and Tobago for 2021
1. SWMCOL and NGC sign MoU to use landfill gas emissions
The Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Limited, (SWMCOL), signed an agreement to capture and use the landfill gas emitted from the Forres Park landfill.
This MoU will have several benefits including a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions as well as the potential to generate revenue.
2. UWI sounds the alarm about climate change in the Caribbean
Researchers from the University of the West Indies (UWI) were part of a team that drafted the SPM of the Working Group I contribution to the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) earlier this year.
The UWI’s Climate Studies Group said the data is alarming, particularly for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
According to the UWI, 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels will be the global temperature by 2040.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley A call was issued to the world nations to mobilize to halt the devastating effects climate change at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), in the UK in November.
3. Tobago commissions new flood mitigation and drainage studies
Tobago House of Assembly, (THA), said that measures are being taken in order to address flooding and erosion. This is done through a flood and mitigation analysis under the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment.
This development follows a series landslides, as well as damage, that were caused by Tropical Storm Karen and other weather system in recent years.
4. Asa Wright Nature Centre to Reopen in 2022 with New Partner
The Asa Wright Nature Centre will be reopening its doors next year, after being closed for nearly 2 years.
HADCOs ecotourism business will have its flagship property in the Asa Wright Nature Centre, the board announced.
5. Maracas Beach is home to leatherback turtle hatchlings
The closure of beaches wasn’t bad for everyone – nesting Leatherback turtles returned to Maracas Beach, resulting in nests at the popular beach, which were protected by the authorities until the hatchlings took their journey to the sea.
6. The government removes the import tax from fully-electric cars
To encourage the switch from fossil energy to renewable energy, the government removed taxes from electric cars starting January 1, 2022.
Government is also currently engaging in solar installations in public buildings with the UNDP, and has initiated a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system to track the progress of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in T&T.
Government is also exploring carbon pricing mechanisms, and is implementing the Piarco Airport solar project with the EUs Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) also involving the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago.
What environmental issues do you want to see addressed by 2022?