Welcome Remarks | NGC Chairman, Dr. Joseph Ishmael Khan

  • Honourable Stuart R. Young, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries
  • (Honourable Penelope Beckles – Minister of Planning and Development)
  • (Penelope Bradshaw Niles – Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries)
  • Sandra Fraser – Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries
  • Dr Joseph Ishmael Khan – Chairman NGC Group of Companies
  • Members of the Board of NGC Group of Companies
  • Dr. Vernon Paltoo – President National Energy
  • Dominic Rampersad – President PPGPL
  • Leadership Teams and staff from the NGC Group of Companies
  • Industry Leaders
  • Stakeholders and specially invited guests
  • Members of the Media….

Good morning.

On Boxing Day 2004, a massive earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered the deadliest tsunami in human history. Footage captured prior to the wave’s landfall in Thailand showed tourists casually observing the wave as it approached and gathered momentum, only to begin their panicked exodus from the beach when the wave was nearly upon them. It is uncertain how many of those tourists escaped the onslaught of the ocean as it swept inland. 

There is a lesson in that story for our present moment in history – we need to open our eyes to the danger on the horizon, and move quickly off the imperiled beach on which we find ourselves. There is a wave coming. We have been observing it, discussing it, challenging its existence with a mixture of bravado and denial, but we can no longer stand around on the shore. We may not be able to outrun the wave completely, but we can still survive it. If we move NOW. 

Ladies and gentlemen, the proverbial wave of which I speak is climate crisis. Every year, the World Economic Forum publishes a Global Risk Report – an insightful assessment of the global risk landscape for the near to medium term. Across the last five reports – and surely even further back – the failure to address climate change has featured among the top medium-term risks identified by experts. Its recurrence in this list across so many consecutive reports underscores its imminence, and our inability in recent years to de-escalate the threat through decisive action.   

Yes, climate is now a front-burner issue on many political agendas, and yes, markets are now favouring climate-conscious businesses, but we need to consolidate, multiply and accelerate our efforts. And yes, the energy sector has a cardinal role to play in that regard.

As the flagship state energy company in Trinidad and Tobago, NGC and the wider NGC Group of Companies have taken that role very seriously. For over four decades, we have supported the growth of an industrial economy based on the cleanest fossil fuel – natural gas. This fuel will remain an important one in the clean energy transition, but we acknowledge it still has a carbon impact, and we have been working aggressively to scrub as much of our footprint as we can. We are proud to say that across our Group, we have made notable strides in greening our business over the past decade, and we intend to build on those achievements to grow a carbon-neutral energy brand by the year 2050. 

With our business anchored in natural gas, however, our pursuit of carbon neutrality must necessarily include investment in carbon-offsetting projects, products and technologies. That is, we have recognised the need to direct attention and resources toward clean energy and low-carbon fuels, energy efficiency, sustainable transportation and associated research and development. Driven by this imperative, we decided to create a dedicated subsidiary to blaze this exciting and important new business trail. 

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with immense pride that I stand as Chairman of The NGC Group of Companies, to join in the official launch and introduction of the newest member of our corporate family – NGC Green Company Limited. 

Before I hand over to Mark to elaborate on its purpose and business model, I will say this of our vision – through this company, we intend to push the kind of work and action we need, in order to achieve real and measurable results on the climate front. Through this company, we intend to help not just Trinidad and Tobago, but the wider Caribbean, get off the beach.   

I thank you for joining us here today and look forward to chatting with you after. Enjoy your day.

Similar Posts