Climate change is having a major impact on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as countries in the Caribbean, EMA chairman Nadra Nathai-Gyan said.
Speaking at the launch yesterday of the UN Caribbean Environmental Information Week at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, Nathai-Gyan said the impact is clearly seen by an unprecedented wave of deadly Category 4 and 5 hurricanes which lashed several islands recently. “Whether it’s intense rainfall, unprecedented and unpredictable hurricane intensity, excessive heat episodes and droughts we can no longer idly stand-by and hope our SIDS are spared being dealt the next hand of devastation in this game of climate change,” Nathai-Gyan said.
She said disaster management is a necessary component of daily life in regional SIDS. “We need to adapt to as well as mitigate the effects that are imposed upon us by our changing climate.”
The EMA head said Government is committed to doing its part to help the world achieve Goal 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals-Climate Action.
“In ratifying the COP21, TT has put the wheels in motion to make tangible progress in reducing our nation’s carbon emissions.”
The transportation, industrial and power generation sectors have been earmarked for transformative work to reduce carbon emissions especially given that these sectors, when combined, account for less than one per cent of TT’s global total but the highest emissions among SIDS.
Programmes implemented under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) continue to assist TT in building capacity to better understand our environment and sustainable development, Nathai-Gyan said.
A three-day workshop, geared towards increasing collaboration among countries to be better prepared to identify data gaps, share data and identify climate change impact, was also launched.
“On the agenda, we will also be discussing the fifth Global Environment Outlook Report, which has been published by the United Nations Environment Programme and we look forward to discussions on the preparation of the sixth publication,” Nathai-Gyan stated.