Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says Saudi Arabia has offered to assist with T&T’s energy transition thrust, as well as its economic diversification.
Fresh from his Middle East trip, Dr Rowley revealed yesterday that Saudi Arabia was also interested in development finance for tourism in T&T and the region.
Reiterating the effects climate change was having on the country, he said, “We do believe that we are being affected by climate change and we need help in protecting ourselves. The Saudis are willing to listen to us with development financing to deal with issues of climate change.”
Dr Rowley said assistance could include solar power infrastructure, of which Saudi Arabia is a major producer.
“We are looking in that direction,” he said.
He added that the nation must build a future that is not based on hydrocarbons and prepare for the day when fossil fuels are confined to history.
Rowley said that was why Saudi Arabia was “going full speed ahead” with huge investments in tourism.
“We believe that here in Trinidad and Tobago, especially in Tobago, we need to invest more in tourism because it’s a more sustainable industry but we need to do the investment now so that when the drying up (of hydrocarbons) comes for whatever reason, your presence in the tourism environment would see you accessing earnings.”
Rowley said, hopefully, local entrepreneurs will be persuaded to invest in tourism when financing became available.
He made the comments nine days ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.
UN Global Ambassador for Climate Change, Racquel Moses, told CNC3’s The Big Interview on Sunday that she was hoping Caribbean leaders make a strong case for climate financing in Dubai.
“I think the message from Caricom needs to be we need to be clear about how much funding we need. Freeing up climate finance, especially grant finance and concessional funding is imperative to meeting the goals we’ve set. I love the idea of them singing from the same hymn sheet,” Moses said
COP 28 takes place from November 30 to December 12.