September 30, 2013: New York – Minister of State in the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the Honourable Ramona Ramdial has held crucial discussions on climate change with European Union (EU) Commissioner for Climate Action, Ms Connie Hedegaard. The bilateral meeting took place on Wednesday 25th September 2013 on the margins of the General Debate of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly which was held New York. Minister Ramdial was a member of the high-level delegation from Trinidad and Tobago in attendance of the United Nations General Assembly.
The meeting was convened by the EU to allow progressive States, both developed and developing, to discuss their expectations for the next round of climate talks to be held in Warsaw, Poland, in November at the 19th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 9th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. Other attendees included the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Laurent Fabius, Minister of Development of France, Pascal Canfin, the Minister of the Environment of Norway, Bård Vegar Solhjell, the Minister of the Environment of the Gambia, Ms. Fatou Ndeye and other high ranking government officials.
During the meeting, Minister Ramdial said there is an urgent need to identify sources of climate finance. The Minister expressed her hope that the Warsaw Conference ought to be a confidence building meeting for Parties, which should set important milestones for meetings in Peru in 2014 and Paris in 2015:
“For Trinidad and Tobago, the upcoming Warsaw Conference must result in a legally binding agreement applicable to all; one which accords with the principles of environmental integrity and ensures that there are no free riders in concerted global action on climate change.”
Minister Ramdial also outlined the domestic action being taken in Trinidad and Tobago to address the issue of climate change such as the development of a National Climate Change Policy, a Renewable Energy Policy and a National Carbon Reduction Strategy in the industrial and power generation sectors, local studies for the mainstreaming of climate change into national development and a feasibility study on carbon capture and storage in geological formations.
Minister Ramdial was invited to meet with Commissioner Hedegaard for a bilateral discussion on the relevant issues after the main meeting. Also present were Mr. Kishan Kumarsingh of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and Co-chairman of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform, the new body under the convention charged with agreeing a new climate agreement by 2015, as well as Ms. Rueanna Haynes of the Permanent Mission of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations, New York.
During the bilateral meeting, Commissioner Hedegaard and Minister Ramdial exchanged views on the main issues at stake for the Warsaw meeting in November. Both parties emphasized the need for further dialogue and continued cooperation.
The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources looks forward to exploring opportunities for further collaboration on the issue of climate change will be explored in Warsaw.
About the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) : The mandate of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, MEWR is to sustainably manage the nation’s natural resources in a manner to ensure that there is a balance between economic and social development while maintaining the integrity of the environment.
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Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR)