ATTORNEY General Ryan Pinder.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
ATTORNEY General Ryan Pinder said the government has already been approached by people interested in buying carbon credits.
He said they will be entered into a databank system until the credits are ready to be monetised.
His comment came a day after Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis tabled the Climate Change and Carbon Market Incentives Bill, the first step in securing a carbon credit payment system for the country.
Mr Pinder said: “We don’t have the regime in place nor are we confident that we have done what we have to do to ensure The Bahamas maximises its position so people will come out the blue all the time, ‘I want to buy your carbon, I’ll buy all the carbon credits you can create and this is the price.’ Well, you know, the fact of the matter is our responsibility is to maximise the benefits for Bahamians, not jump on the first opportunity and so that is the policy decision we have made, anybody who approaches we will just put them in a databank, in the future when we are ready to monetise.”
Rochelle Newbold, a special advisor in the Office of the Prime Minister on climate and environmental matters, said a carbon credits system would help the planet. She said the project will be based on science and will not amount to “greenwashing” or providing an escape clause for people to continue emitting greenhouse gases.
She said: “When you have industries that are having to make decisions about becoming carbon neutral by 2050 but the technology isn’t there or readily available (for) them etc (to) make that change immediately, they need to be able to look at ways that will enable them to incrementally meet that 2050 deadline.”
The Bill, which was tabled in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, seeks to give effect to the Paris Agreement to aid in the global response to the threat of climate change and to create and implement initiatives to offset carbon emissions.
Through this framework, the government will be able to create incentives and implement initiatives to support the overall global target of greenhouse gas emissions reduction consistent with its nationally determined contributions; to ensure compliance by The Bahamas of its obligations under the Paris Agreement taking into consideration the common but differentiated responsibilities, respective capabilities and flexibility provisions acknowledged under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for small island developing states to address climate change; and to enable the establishment of a market in The Bahamas to trade in carbon credits.
The Bill will also create shared ministerial responsibility between the prime minister/minister of finance and the minister responsible for the environment and natural resources; the appointment of a management company, and the appointment and functions of an advisory council, which will have responsibility for serving as a technical advisory body to a management company.