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Prepare for hybrid or electric vehicles – major vehicle manufacturers are shifting production to hybrid or fully electric vehicles and local players will eventually have to fall in line .

And Government’s policy for electric (e) mobility is projected be completed in the next three months .

The information came yesterday from Finance Ministry economic adviser Hayden Manzano and Kishan Kumarsingh, head of Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit, in the Ministry of Planning..

Both were among officials interviewed by Parliament’s Public Accounts and Appropriation (PAAC) committee headed by Bridgid Annisette-George.

The PAAC questioned officials of Finance and Planning and the Environmental Management Agency of T&T (EMATT) on implementation of the 2021 Budget where the Green Economy is concerned.

On phasing out of fossil fuel use globally, Manzano said some companies say this could be as early as 2025.

On major vehicle manufacturers shifting production to hybrid or fully electronic vehicles and the view that local players will eventually have to fall in line , he said the ministry was looking at the situation from that standpoint.

Electric vehicle policy isn’t set up yet. But areas are being examined and once lift off is obtained Finance can move on to the next stage, he added. The matter will be handled by Finance, Planning and the Energy Ministries .

Kumarsingh indicated that said based on Green Economy and climate change demands, his ministry and University of Denmark are working on an electric (e) mobility policy expected ready by June.

Kumarsingh said the ministry’s also working on a “Just Transition” policy needed to deal with fallout from the “greening” of the economy.

The policy is geared so that workers – particularly in carbon intensive industries will be buffered and – won’t be unduly affected by retooling and reskilling that will be necessary in the new economy where some traditional jobs may be reduced .

Through the Labour Ministry, new jobs to be created will involve training for workers to retool skills needed in the “greening” of the economy.

Manzano said the Ministry of Finance , collaborating with Planning is holding discussions with stakeholders on moving from fossil fuels to solar energy especially in the agro-processing sector.

Discussions include using the levy under the Green Fund to make the proposal attractive for operators to make the kind of reduction they need to. Through that programme they’d access rebates in payments to the levy.

Work on systems to further track and deal with emissions – where a reduction goal of 15 per cent by 2030 is targeted – is being done by Planning.

Certain draft laws may be ready by end of May.

Managing director of EMATT Hayden Romano said EMATT’s project on collection of beverage containers, plastics and other items has been very successful.

Approximately 788 collection bins were placed around Trinidad . The project is now in Tobago.

The project was supposed to lead the recycling industry and that’s now in infancy stages .

EMATT hopes to get people to take responsibility for disposing of packaging of their items and to have a deposit refund system not only for beverage containers but also electronics.

Romano said EMA did well with beverage containers and glass containers but not as well with electronics and tires.

EMA started small scale work with electronics and entrepreneurs who requested used electronics.

Waste rules are expected by June for larger generators of waste. He said the private sector must be involved in the greening of the economy as they’re the economy’s drivers.