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A multi-criteria evaluation of policy instruments for climate change mitigation in the power generation sector of Trinidad and Tobago

Philipp Blechinger, Kalim Shah

Energy Policy, Volume 39, Issue 10

Even as small island developing states (SIDS) like Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) increase industrialization and grapple with the challenges of increased pollution, few studies provide guidance to policy makers of such countries on appropriate policy measures and instruments that can be implemented to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Here we apply a multi-criteria evaluation methodology to ascertain preferences for policy measures and instruments in the power generation sector. Four broad policy measures and twelve policy instruments are assessed on criteria of environmental performance, feasibility of implementation and political acceptability. This method proves useful in T&T, since typical to many SIDS, the intensive data required by other policy assessment methods is unavailable. Results indicate little difference in preference among the four policy measures thereby indicating that a multi-pronged approach on several policy fronts is required. The most preferred policy instruments to operationalize measures included provision of subsidies for energy saving technologies, creating an industry wide carbon trading scheme and implementing a feed-in tariff to increase the use of renewable energy sources. This study therefore provides specific insights for policy makers in Trinidad and Tobago while also providing power generation sector specific guidance to other rapidly industrializing small island developing states.

DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.07.034