A high-powered energy mission from the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) met representatives of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) led by Chief Secretary Orville London on Friday to discuss the level of expertise the bank can provide to Tobago.
Head of the bank’s energy desk in Washington, Natacha Marzolf said it was important for the IDB to send a message that it has a mandate for clean and green energy and it was in this context that the mission had come to Trinidad and Tobago to discuss this. “We have a very strong commitment and we are very much trying to lead the way in clean energy, renewable energy in the Caribbean and South America.”
She explained that in the bank’s energy division in Washington there were a number of projects promoting this concept of clean and green energy. She added: “In the particular context of Tobago we really want to further discuss the possibility to really look at sustainable energy, green energy and efficiency. We had a very good meeting and we can see that this can be a very productive partnership in the future.”
Chief Secretary London described the meeting as very productive, adding that the discussions focussed primarily on initiatives of the IDB in relationship to technical advice and IDB’s relationship with the Ministry of Finance in deciding the various loans’ presentations that would be taking place in the next couple months.
London said from a Tobago perspective the discussion focussed primarily on how the bank would be of assistance to the THA in providing the level of expertise which the Assembly definitely needed at this point in time in making decisions with respect to carbon footprints and the branding of Tobago as clean, green, safe and serene.
He added: “The members of the THA team were very heartened by the type of discussion we had and it gave us hope that we would be able to liaise and collaborate with the IDB to ensure that we get the kind of expertise that will allow us to make decisions in relationship for example, the optimisation of natural gas usage in Tobago, the whole question of renewable energy, alternative sources of energy and hopefully at the end of the exercise be able to brand Tobago even more firmly as a green environment and of course our mantra of clean, green, safe and serene will be maintained.”
London said the discussion will continue and was very optimistic that the relationship between the Assembly and the IDB in this particular sphere would redound to the credit of the island and help the Assembly achieve its goals in this particular area which was critical to its development and integrity as a tourism destination.
The IDB mission also comprised the Regional Specialist in Energy Jesus A Tejeda Ricardez; Energy Specialist Christiaan Gischler; and Operations Senior Associate Dale James. With London were Senior Adviser Norris Jack and Energy Analyst Walter Coppin.