Trinidad and Tobago: estimating the public health benefits of integrated climate and clean air actions

Year
2021
Funding
CCAC Funded

Trinidad and Tobago set out to increase its ambitions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) with this project supported by the CCAC. This work aligns closely with the country’s international commitments, particularly its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement and commitments under the Caribbean Action Plan on Health and Climate Change until 2023. Stepping up efforts to combat SLCPs  furthermore helped the country to achieve several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the United Nations Agenda 2030.    

At the national level, this project set out to help achieve climate and air quality targets and ensure that the interlinkages of health and climate change remain high on the political agenda.

Objectives

To understand the health benefits linked to the country’s air quality and SLCP mitigation actions. Through training and reporting, this project:  
 

  • Improved the country’s capacity to estimate and monitor the air pollution burden of disease, as well as to report on related SDG indicators   
  • Mobilised high-level political commitment, possibly scaling up efforts in the wider region 
  • Incorporated in the national framework, built upon the existing Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network (AAQMN), as well as the workforce on air quality, climate change and health  
  • Fostered the implementation of integrated solutions to SLCPs, air pollution and public health issues   

Background

This project covered three main activities: 
   

  • Developing a report and conducting training on estimating the burden of disease attributable to air pollution in Trinidad & Tobago as well as on monitoring and reporting on the related SDG indicators (3.9.1: Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution and 11.6.2: Annual mean levels of fine particulate matter (e.g. PM2.5 and PM10) in cities). 
  • Preparing an Integrated Road Map on Air Quality, SLCPs and Health in order to (a) identify key stakeholders, (b) identify priority actions in climate change mitigation and air quality improvement as well as potential synergies and health links, (c) estimate the health benefits upon which the road map builds, including the establishment of a working group to foster implementation. 
  • Conducting a stakeholder workshop and regional virtual meeting to strengthen capacity and foster high-level political commitment for mitigation actions at the national and regional level. 

Background

Oil and gas exploration and production, transportation, waste management as well as cement and chemical manufacturing are responsible for significant SLCP emissions in Trinidad and Tobago.   

These emissions have led to an elevated death rate correlated with air pollution. A remarkable 44 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants are attributable to air pollution - one of the highest in the Americas.  


Implementer

This project was implemented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).