Prime Minister Patrick Manning sought to dispel concerns that T&T engaged in a lackadaisical approach to pollution after a journalist from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) highlighted that the twin-island republic ranked among the top ten worst nations on the emissions per capita indicator. Manning said T&T understood its responsibilities to both the local and international communities and would take voluntary action about its "negative contribution" to climate change, regardless of the outcome of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Port-of-Spain.
"Yes, we are an industrialised country and, yes, T&T has to concern itself that we have been making a negative contribution to this climate change matter," Manning said. "We have already made it clear that whatever agreements are arrived (after CHOGM), T&T understands its responsibilities to the international community and to its own population and on a voluntary basis T&T is going to seek to do something about it." Manning was responding to questions from the BBC's Diplomatic Correspondent James Robbins, who noted T&T was ranked high among the top ten carbon dioxide emitters.
According to Manning, Trinidad and Tobago rejected studies about carbon dioxide that were conducted on a per capita basis. He added: "When the earth responds to concentration(s) of green house gases in the atmosphere, it does not do so on a per capita basis, it does it on the basis of absolute emissions and therefore T&T categorically rejects any analysis of this matter on a per capita basis. "The per capita argument is one that we consider unsustainable and one that T&T categorically rejects."