Trinidad and Tobago

the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, located in the Caribbean close to the South American coast, have a land area of 1,979 sq. mi. (5,128 sq. km.), with the island of Trinidad accounting for 1,864 sq. mi. (4,769 sq. km.), and Tobago the remaining 116 sq. mi. (300 sq. km.). The country has a population of 1,333,000 (2006 est.), of whom 96.3 percent live on the island of Trinidad, which has a population density of 660 people per sq. mi. (254 people per sq. km.). Some 69 percent of the population live in urban areas. With 15 percent of the land being arable, 9 percent is under permanent cultivation, with 2 percent being used as meadow or pasture. Some 44 percent of the country is forested, with efforts being made by the government to conserve the forests.

Much of the economy of Trinidad and Tobago comes from the petroleum industry, with petroleum and petroleum products making up the vast majority of the country's exports. The country also has coal deposits. The consumption of these deposits has led to an increase in greenhouse gases, with the result that Trinidad and Tobago has one of the highest carbon dioxide emissions per capita in the world. Although data published by the U.S. Department of Energy's Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center puts it at 9th in the world, Trinidad is the fifth highest independent country. Its emissions were 13.9 metric tons of carbon dioxide per capita in 1990, and with the exception of a low figure for 1993, emissions levels have risen significantly since then, reaching 22.1 metric tons per capita in 2003. The emissions are largely from gaseous fuels (72 percent), with 16 percent from liquid fuels, 10 percent from gas flaring, and 2 percent from the manufacture of cement. Not only is the heavy use of petroleum a major contributing factor but there is also poor public transport on Trinidad, resulting in widespread use of automobiles.

There is also extensive use of air conditioning for private houses and businesses. The effect of global warming can be seen by rising water temperatures detrimentally affecting the population of leatherback turtles, as well as affecting other Caribbean nations far more significantly. The government of Trinidad and Tobago has also been worried about the effects of global warming on the tourism industry, as well as the problems that might be posed to yachting and the cruise liners operating in the Caribbean.

The government of Patrick Manning took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992, and 2 years later, Trinidad and Tobago was represented at the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States held in Barbados. On January 7, 1999, the Trinidad government of Basdeo Panday signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, with it being ratified exactly 3 weeks later, but only entering into force on February 16, 2005.

SEE ALSO: Climate Change, Effects; Floods; Tourism; Transportation.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Julie Cohen and Stuart Conway, "Flying Colours," Geographical (v.74/5, May 2002); Michael J. Day and M. Sean Chenoweth, "The Karstlands of Trinidad and Tobago: The Land Use and Conservation," Geographical Journal, (v.170/3, September 2004); Jasmine Gar-raway, "Climate Change and Tourism," Trinidad Guardian (August 30, 2005); Leila Ramdeen, "Environmental Justice," Trinidad Guardian (June 6, 2005); A. R. Williams, "Trinidad and Tobago," National Geographic (v.185/3, March 1994).

Robin S. Corfield Independent Scholar

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable.

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