Main climate regulations, policies and authoritiesInternational agreements
Do any international agreements or regulations on climate matters apply in your country?
The Dominican Republic is a signatory of the following international agreements:
- the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);
- the Kyoto Protocol;
- the Paris Agreement;
- the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer; and
- the Montreal Protocol on the Substance that depletes the Ozone Layer.
As a consequence of the fact that the country is a signatory of the aforementioned international agreements, it has created the necessary local regulations to comply with the requirements.International regulations and national regulatory policies
How are the regulatory policies of your country affected by international regulations on climate matters?
The Dominican Republic, after the ratification of the UNFCCC, has made progress in the integration of climate change into its policy, introducing it into different aspects of society, the economy and the environment.
The Dominican Republic Climate Change Policy is articulated with the instruments of the National Planning System, with the National Development Strategy 2030 and with the National Pluriannual Plan of the public sector, to foster a political and institutional framework favourable to low development in emissions of greenhouse gases and resilient to climate change.Main national regulatory policies
Outline recent government policy on climate matters.
The tax authorities together with the Ministry of Environment have not yet implemented the necessary environmental taxes to directly prevent activities that may have negative effects on the environment.
The first green tax established in the Dominican Republic was enacted in the 2012 Tax Reform. This reform established a tax on vehicles based on the percentage of the vehicle’s total value and its emissions of carbon dioxide according to the following table.
Less than 120g CO2/km
More than 120 until 220g CO2/km
More than 220 until 380g CO2/km
Over 380g CO2/km
Identify the main national laws and regulations on climate matters.
The Constitution of the Dominican Republic promulgated in 2010, in its article 194, establishes adaptation to climate change as a guiding principle for the definition of territorial organisation policies, through the definition of land use plans that respond to the need to adapt to climate change. In respect to what is indicated in the Constitution, the Dominican state began designing the political framework of reference through the development of strategies and plans.
Organic Law No. 1-12 of the National Development Strategy to 2030, promulgated in 2012, indicates four strategic axes that define ‘the sustainable development model to which the Dominican Republic aspires’, in the institutional, social, economic and environmental spheres. Regarding the climate, the law raises as one of its objectives a production society and an environmentally sustainable consumption, ‘which it manages with equity and effectiveness risks and protection of the environment and resources and promotes an adequate adaptation to climate change.’
Decree 269-15 sets out the National Climate Change Policy, which aims to manage climatic variability attributed, directly or indirectly, to human activity and the effects it generates on the population and the national territory, through an appropriate strategy, programming, plans and projects at the national level.
Decree No. 23-16, amended by Decree No. 26-17, creates the Inter Institutional Commission of High Level for Sustainable Development, responsible for mapping the route for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and integrating the Sustainable Development Goals in all government instruments of planning, especially in the National Development Strategy 2030.
On 29 March 2017, the National Congress issued Resolution No. 122-17 approving the Paris Agreement, signed by the Dominican Republic on April 2016 in New York and adopted in Paris on 12 December 2015.National regulatory authorities
Identify the national regulatory authorities responsible for climate regulation and its implementation and administration. Outline their areas of competence.
The National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism was created by Decree No. 601-08, on 20 September 2008, with the aim of articulating and joining efforts from the different institutions that make up the sectors of development of the country to combat the global problem of climate change. It is chaired by the President of the Dominican Republic and is composed by the Heads of the Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources, Economy, Planning and Development, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Industry and Commerce and Public Health. The Council is also comprised of members from the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic, the National Energy Commission, the Office for the Reorganisation of Transportation, the Superintendence of Electricity, the Dominican Corporation of State Electric Companies, the Association of Banks of the Dominican Republic, the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic, the private generators of the national energy sector, the National Council of Private Enterprise and representatives of civil society organisations.
General national climate mattersNational emissions and limits
What are the main sources of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) (or other regulated emissions) in your country and the quantities of emissions from those sources? Describe any limitation or reduction obligations. Do they apply to private parties in your country?
The main sources are: energy 61.90 per cent, industrial processes 5.30 per cent, agriculture 12.90 per cent, and waste 19.90 per cent.National GHG emission projects
Describe any major GHG emission reduction projects implemented or to be implemented in your country. Describe any similar projects in other countries involving the participation of government authorities or private parties from your country.
Based on the legislation, strategies and specific plans have been created by various sectors, namely:
- the Sectoral Strategic Plan for Agricultural Development 2010-2020, of 2011;
- the National Strategy to Strengthen Human Resources and the Skills to Advance towards Green Development, with Low Emissions and Climate Resilience, 2012;
- the Strategic Plan for Climate Change 2011-2030 in the Dominican Republic, of 2012;
- the Agricultural Contingency Plan 2013; and
- the National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change in the sector Agropecuary of the Dominican Republic 2014-2020.
The Dominican Republic has made great efforts to contribute to the reduction of global GHG emissions with projects of the Mechanism of Clean Development, with a total of 14 projects registered before the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol (KP) 12, the last registered project being the Wind project of Los Cocos II in 2013.
Adding all the potential to reduce CO2 emissions that have registered CDM projects, the value would amount approximately to 1,199Gg of CO2e annually. This is already a mitigation action given by the Dominican Republic within the KP to combat climate change, which, coupled with the other actions mentioned above, confirm the commitment of the Dominican Republic to mitigate GHG emissions.
Domestic climate sectorDomestic climate sector
Describe the main commercial aspects of the climate sector in your country, including any related government policies.
See question 7.
It is the only market that exists in the country related to emissions.
General GHG emissions regulationRegulation of emissions
Do any obligations for GHG emission limitation, reduction or removal apply to your country and private parties in your country? If so, describe the main obligations.
The current air emission legal framework in the Dominican Republic is based on two main regulations: the Environmental Regulation on Air Quality and the Environmental Regulation on Control of Atmospheric Emissions from Fixed Sources.
The Environmental Regulation on Air Quality determines the maximum amount of pollutant concentration permitted. The Regulation is applicable to industries, businesses, projects, services or any activity that may cause pollution and affect air quality. Its overall purpose is the protection of public health. This regulation establishes limits for certain types of pollutants, as indicated in the following table.
SO2 (sulphur dioxide)
CO (carbon monoxide)
The Environmental Regulation on Control of Atmospheric Emissions from Fixed Sources determines the maximum permitted amount of atmospheric emission from fixed sources. This acts as a compliance tool to satisfy the standards set by the Environmental Regulation on Air Quality.GHG emission permits or approvals
Are there any requirements for obtaining GHG emission permits or approvals? If so, describe the main requirements.
A developer must obtain the corresponding environmental authorisation before starting any activity that may affect the environment and natural resources, including non-industrial projects. Activities are divided into four categories (A, B, C and D). Categories A and B (environmental licence and environmental permit, respectively) require a stricter environmental assessment, while categories C and D (environmental authorisation and minimal impact registration certificate, respectively) are used to regulate activities with less environmental impact.
According to the regulations on environmental authorisations, in order to obtain any permission or licence a project developer should complete the following procedure:
- submission of request of the environmental authorisation before the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources;
- inspection by government technicians;
- issuance of the terms of reference, if applicable, which include the basis for the preparation of an environmental assessment;
- preparation and filing of the correspondent environmental assessment; and
- public hearings, for those projects with a high possibility of causing significant environmental impact. In these cases, and after such hearings take place, the public is entitled to present any comments and objections during a 15-day period.
Once these steps are completed, it is up to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to issue or reject the corresponding authorisation, which will contain the compliance obligations to be followed by the developer.Oversight of GHG emissions
How are GHG emissions monitored, reported and verified?
There is no method of monitoring and verifying emissions. The inventory is made by the sectoral efforts and using the Tier 1 emission factors presented in the 2006 IPCC Guidelines. A decree is currently being drafted to regulate the method for monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions.
GHG emission allowances (or similar emission instruments)Regime
Is there a GHG emission allowance regime (or similar regime) in your country? How does it operate?
No such regime exists in the Dominican Republic.Registration
Are there any GHG emission allowance registries in your country? How are they administered?
No such registries exist in the Dominican Republic, although there are plans to introduce such registries in the future.Obtaining, possessing and using GHG emission allowances
What are the requirements for obtaining GHG emission allowances? How are allowances held, cancelled, surrendered and transferred? Can rights in favour of third parties (eg, a pledge) be created on allowances?
See question 15.
Trading of GHG emission allowances (or similar emission instruments)Emission allowances trading
What GHG emission trading systems or schemes are applied in your country?
In the Dominican Republic we have a voluntary system to reduce GHG emissions. There is no market as such - what does exist is the experience of buying carbon credits.Trading agreements
Are any standard agreements on GHG emissions trading used in your country? If so, describe their main features and provisions.
See question 15.
Sectoral regulationEnergy sector
Give details of (non-renewable) energy production and consumption in your country. Describe any regulations on GHG emissions. Describe any obligations on the state and private persons for minimising energy consumption and improving energy efficiency. Describe the main features of any scheme for registration of energy savings and for trade of related accounting units or credits.
For the period 2010-2015, the final energy consumption totalled a value corresponding to 5,846.31KTEP, which were provided from the different primary and secondary energy sources: biomass (12 per cent), solar (0.17 per cent), electric power (20 per cent), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (15 per cent), gasoline (17 per cent), AVTUR (7 per cent), fuel oil (2 per cent), petroleum coke (5 per cent) and non-energy uses (4 per cent). The consumption sectors that form a significant part of the total of the useful energy consumed are the transport sector with 41 per cent, the residential sector with 24 per cent, and the industrial sector with 22 per cent. The rest is attributed to the other consumer sectors.Other sectors
Describe, in general terms, any regulation on GHG emissions in connection with other sectors.
The Dominican industrial sector is considered one of the most important sectors. According to the Department of National Accounts and Economic Statistics of the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic, there are four productive activities: the exploitation of mines and quarries, local manufacturing, manufacturing of free zones and construction. By 2012, this sector had around 8,000 companies divided into large, medium, small and micro enterprises based on the number of employees, which generate close to 400,000 direct jobs. The most important industrial branches in this sector in the country are: food and beverages with 1,316 companies (16.7 per cent); followed by the graphic industry (printing and recording) with 1,141 companies (14.5 per cent); and finally, chemical substances with 809 companies (10.3 per cent). GHG emissions from mineral production are divided into five subcategories: cement production, lime production, glass production, carbonate use processes and other mineral product processes. The emissions of mineral products are mainly greenhouse gas emissions related to processes resulting from the use of carbon raw materials.
The most relevant source of GHG emissions reported in the third global communication of the Dominican Republic for the UNFCCC has been the production of cement. The GHG emissions accumulated from the minerals industry for the period 2010-2014 were equivalent to 9,359.71Gg CO2eq. Emissions increased by 51 per cent between 1990 and 1999 (586Gg CO2eq), after which emissions decreased slightly (by 19 per cent) until 2001. For a period of six years to 2007, industrial mineral emissions increased to 61 per cent.
Renewable energy and carbon captureRenewable energy consumption, policy and general regulation
Give details of the production and consumption of renewable energy in your country. What is the policy on renewable energy? Describe any obligations on the state and private parties for renewable energy production or use. Describe the main provisions of any scheme for registration of renewable energy production and use and for trade of related accounting units or credits.
Law 57-07 on Incentives for Renewable Energy and their Special Regimes, dated 7 May 2007, regulates the concessions for the alternative energies in the Dominican Republic and grants fiscal incentives for the promotion and development of wind, solar projects, among others.
Law 64-00 and its regulations regulate the environmental legal compliance of renewable energy projects and requires the obtainment of an environmental authorisation, which requires the preparation of environmental studies to determine the impacts that the project will have in its construction and operation phases. The terms of reference that the Ministry of the Environment will issue for each project will be adapted to the proposed operations.Wind energy
Describe, in general terms, any regulation of wind energy.
See question 19.Solar energy
Describe, in general terms, any regulation of solar energy.
See question 19.Hydropower, geothermal, wave and tidal energy
Describe, in general terms, any regulation of hydropower, geothermal, wave or tidal energy.
See question 19.Waste-to-energy
Describe, in general terms, any regulation of production of energy based on waste.
See question 19.Biofuels and biomass
Describe, in general terms, any regulation of biofuel for transport uses and any regulation of biomass for generation of heat and power.
See question 19.Carbon capture and storage
Describe, in general terms, any policy on and regulation of carbon capture and storage.
Currently, work is being done on the design and development of the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), promotion of conservation, sustainable management of forests and increase of forest carbon reserves at the UNFCCC.
Climate matters in transactionsClimate matters in M&A transactions
What are the main climate matters and regulations to consider in M&A transactions and other transactions?
The main difference between acquiring shares and purchasing an asset is that the purchaser of the share will acquire the shares along with all the liabilities associated with said shares (ie, any company liability to the extent of the amount of shares acquired). Alternatively, in an asset purchase, the purchaser would only acquire the liability associated with said asset.
Nonetheless, from an environmental perspective, it is necessary to determine the type of asset acquired, since an asset could hold liability for environmental damage (ie, the extent of the liability could encompass the real estate where the damage occurred).
Furthermore, in M&A transactions, it is important to pay special attention to the consequences of the strict and joint civil liabilities regimes for environmental damage and to the validity of environmental licences. In general, the following issues should be reviewed:
- environmental authorisations (scope and conditions);
- environmental compliance of the corresponding authorisation before the Ministry of Environment;
- technical compliance reports; and
- investigations of civil and criminal suits related to environmental damage.
Under Dominican law, a seller is not required to disclose environmental problems to the purchaser in a merger or takeover transaction. Nevertheless, such disclosure is normally required by contract and covered by warranty clauses.
Environmental provisions set forth in the Dominican Environmental and Natural Resources Law are of public policy; therefore, any agreements between the parties that minimise liability in the case of environmental damage will have no effect on third parties. However, it is possible to limit liability to an agreement between the parties, but such provisions will only be valid between them.
Update and trendsEmerging trends
Are there any emerging trends or hot topics that may affect climate regulation in your country in the foreseeable future?No updates at this time.