The Minister of Energy and Energy Industries and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Honourable Stuart R. Young MP and Permanent Secretary, Penelope Bradshaw-Niles, along with a strategic team from the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries Trinidad, attended the International Energy Conference and Expo, in Guyana on 14th February 2023 (yesterday) where Minister Young contributed to the Regional Collaboration Panel geared towards developing the regional energy sector.
The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Harnessing Energy for Development’ and this tied in well with discussions focusing on energy security held at the Regional Collaboration Panel where Minister Young along with Foreign Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana Mr. Robert Persaud, Mr. Wazim Mohammed Mowla, Associate Director and Caribbean Lead, Atlantic Council and Dr. Thackwray Driver, Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago had integral contributions. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Rosh Khan, President ACE, Social Rank, Masterclass Institute.
According to Minister Young, the opportunity exists now for CARICOM to collaborate and work together. “Anyone paying attention at COP 26 would have noticed that the developed wealthy countries were preaching that hydrocarbons were no longer the way to go. European countries were talking about taxing hydrocarbons from emerging hydrocarbon countries like Guyana and Suriname. However; on 24th February 2022 when the Russian/ Ukraine war took place, the first thing the developed countries did was to restart their coal plants”.
Minister Young continued by saying that the opportunity has come for CARICOM to take the lead and stand up for development of its resources. “We must work together. In areas such as negotiations of future contracts, we have the expertise right here in CARICOM. For the first time in a long time we are listening to the CARICOM leaders, President Irfaan Ali, Prime Minister Keith Rowley and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves talking about regional integration”.
During his contribution Minister Young also reiterated that it was opportune time for CARICOM, along with Africa and Latin American countries to come together to provide energy security, especially considering that Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago have existing hydrocarbon resources and other provinces, such as Barbados and Grenada with hydrocarbon potential. This collaboration, he cited as important to address the issue of energy financing.
In closing, Minister Young made a call for CARICOM to take control of its own destiny. “We have the intellectual capacity and abilities, we have the experience and we have the hydrocarbon resources. The wakeup call has come.”
The International Energy Conference and Expo ends on February 17th.
The Regional Collaboration Panel attended by Minister Young along with Foreign Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana Mr. Robert Persaud, Mr. Wazim Mohammed Mowla, Associate Director and Caribbean Lead, Atlantic Council and Dr. Thackwray Driver, Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago. The panel was moderated by Dr. Rosh Khan, President ACE, Social Rank, Masterclass Institute.