CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 08, 2010) — Minister responsible for Renewable Energy and the Environment in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Carlisle Powell urged Barbadian Businessmen to take hold of the many investment opportunities available in green technology.
Mr. Powell made the call when he delivered an address at the International Business Week Conference of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) in Barbados on Friday October 29, 2010.
He said the time had come for people of the Caribbean to reorient their thinking and to recognise that products should be designed to serve from the cradle to the grave and not the cradle to the landfill.
The Nevis Minister added that the region was well positioned for major investments in business that offered alternative fuels for the growing transportation vehicles and for environmentally friendly vehicles. He pointed to North America, Europe and Brazil who he said had began to utilise used tyres for other useful projects
“They are recycling old tyres and using them to make artificial reefs. They use old tyres to help with soil stabilisation and interestingly, they are recycling the old tyres and using the product to pave roads, parking lots, basketball courts etc.
“We will always have old tyres; we will always have roads to repair and new roads to build. Here is a business opportunity for an investor who is willing to keep the tyres rolling,” he said.
According to Mr. Powell, it was a known fact that the region’s business and political leaders had been slow to embrace alternative sources of energy and new technology, which offered viable business opportunities.
However, the oil crisis had gotten investors increasingly interested in wind energy projects but he questioned the region’s political will to deliver and the social and economic pressure to deliver cheaper energy.
“Ethanol has proved highly successful in Brazil; yet in CARICOM, only Jamaica has mandated the 10percent ethanol fuel mix. Further, with the exception of the wind farms in Nevis and Jamaica and ethanol in Jamaica, which other CARICOM nation has introduced any new sources of alternative energy?” he stated.
Mr. Powell also pointed to the issue of climate change, which in his view would impact international business completion and cause investors to think double green (cash and the environment).
He spoke of the United Nations Millennium Development goal #7 which addressed Environmental Stability and the islands of the Caribbean which would be adversely affected by increased temperatures and rising sea levels.
The Nevis Minister noted that while industrialised countries remained the worst polluters, the small island developing states of the Caribbean whose carbon emissions were miniscule, were not immune to calls to reduce their carbon footprint.
Therefore, due to environmental concerns, aggressive and positive public relations connected with involvement in green technologies, major companies inclusive of oil companies would invest in green technology and it would bring fierce competition.