Trinidad and Tobago’s NDC Implementation Plan: A Policy Blueprint to Guide Effective Mitigation Action

Latin America and Caribbean


Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) is greatly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, while its absolute annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions represent less than 1% of the world’s GHG emissions. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in T&T are mostly derived from the power generation, transportation and industry sectors, which are the prioritised sectors for mitigation action (Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, 2018).

T&T is one of the first countries to develop an implementation plan for achieving the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which reveals the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and low-carbon development (Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, 2019). The NDC Implementation Plan was formulated under a participatory process with key stakeholders. It includes recommendations for (i) strengthening institutional capacity, (ii) mainstreaming climate change issues, (iii) defining
institutional arrangements, as well as (iv) a capacity building action plan, (v) individual sectoral plans for the three sectors included in the NDC and (vi) a climate finance plan. It can serve as a coordination strategy, being the initial action blueprint for the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy, against the backdrop of its broader National Climate Change Policy and Carbon Reduction Strategy.

The plan is currently awaiting official approval. In addition to that, it is expected that the plan is to be further refined and updated periodically to reflect national circumstances, new inputs from Climate science, as well as from international climate change negotiations, and with a view to developing economy-wide commitments consistent with the Paris Agreement.

In the meantime, the country is already turning the proposed plan into concrete actions on the Ground such as, inter alia, developing and launching a pilot for a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system to track progress towards NDC implementation and assess financial investment options for sectoral mitigation. The legal underpinnings of the MRV system have already been defined, providing a basis for potential future legislation on the MRV system.

T&Ts NDC implementation plan represents a good practice as it is very aligned with national frameworks, is supported by the highest levels of government and has been built through extensive stakeholder engagement, inter alia with the private sector.