Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, Chekira Lockhart-Hypolite, has identified the transportation sector in Dominica as the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in this country.
Lockhart-Hypolite who represented Tourism Minister Denise Charles made that statement while delivering remarks, earlier this week, at a Low Carbon Transport National Consultation which, according to her, is part of a strategy to attain climate resilience in Dominica by working towards the reduction of emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHG).
The project was delivered with the partnership of Gutter Consulting and made possible through the financial support of the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
The consultation was organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Planning, Resilience and Sustainable Development with the aim of examining the feasibility of the following low carbon transport modalities: Options for Non- Motorized Vehicles/ Transit Oriented Development and micro mobility schemes, including shared mobility e.g. electric bicycles, electric scooters, and electric motorcycles.
“The transportation sector in the Commonwealth of Dominica is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases as identified in the Dominica’s Second National Communication submitted in 2014 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).” Lockhart-Hypolite said. “Among other things, the National Communications measures emissions by each sector in the country, and develops measurable targets for reductions in these emissions.”
Noting that not only is the transport sector the largest GHG emission source but that it is also growing, she revealed that the government has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions via targets that are encapsulated in Dominica’s National Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the global effort at the reduction of greenhouse gases.
The current target is to reduce GHG emissions from the transport sector by 17% relative to 2014.
“Therefore partners and stakeholders, the implementation of a national low carbon transportation system will allow Dominica to achieve its stated commitments to the UNFCCC by 2030,” she said.
However, in addition to achieving its GHG reduction commitment to the UNFCCC, Lockhart-Hypolite says the GOCD sees obtaining these targets strategically, as a transformational development initiative allowing for “significant reduction of fossil fuel import bill, enhancing economic self-reliance, fostering the growth of domestic renewable energy industries in the areas of PV solar and geothermal development, and supporting industrial production in hydrogen for use in maritime and other industrial applications.”
“For these rather compelling reasons,” the Parliamentary Secretary said, “I’m lending strong support to this project, on behalf of my Ministry and the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.”
Meantime, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Planning , Gregory Riviere pointed to another goal of the project which is to transform the national transportation sector from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
“Just over one week ago, we brought a group of stakeholders together on a groundbreaking climate finance project with tremendous capacity for the transformation of this country via intended interventions in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, agroforestry, regenerative agriculture, waste management, aquaculture, and nature based solutions to negate impacts of climate change,” he said. “Here we are today again gathered to launch another project. However, the explicit aim in this instance is the transformation of our national transportation sector from fossil fuel to renewable energy.”
However Riviere pointed out that with regard to this specific project, a viable and sustainable national low carbon transportation system (one which includes the various transportation modalities; that is non-motorized, motorized, public transportation, cargo transport, private vehicles, vessels, ships, fishing boats and yachts, has to be based on sound analysis of relevant data, economic and financial modeling and in-country capacity building, which this project will deliver.
“Since some of the deliverables from this project will include reports and financial modeling scenarios for select transportation modalities. These will present investment opportunities for our local private sector partners,” he stated.
He said the Government has removed all vat and duties on the importation of electric vehicles and through my Ministry, financing options for climate resilience investments is available as a result of strategic arrangement with our international partners.
Direct beneficiaries of the readiness support are government institutions and private sector actors and other stakeholders involved in transport policies and transport services through improved knowledge on options, policies and business models for low-carbon transport.
When the project is implemented there will be a wider net of beneficiaries.
Air quality is a public good and improving air quality through low-emission transport systems improves the health and well-being of all citizens. Reduced reliance on fossil fuel imports also improves the resilience of the country towards external shocks and fuel delivery disruptions.