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Oil rigs and ships silhouetted against the sunset in Claxton Bay, Trinidad and Tobago. Oil rigs and ships in Claxton Bay, Trinidad and Tobago, Jan. 3, 2015 (Flickr photo by Leslie-Ann Boisselle).

COVID-19 and Climate Change Prompt an Energy Rethink in Trinidad and Tobago

, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021

For decades, the Caribbean twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago has relied on oil and natural gas production to guarantee its energy security and provide a measure of fiscal stability for the government.* Even as oil and gas revenues have steadily declined since hitting a peak in the late 1970s, the country’s economy remains highly reliant on the energy sector, which accounts for around 75 percent of exports and 40 percent of GDP. However, the crash of global energy markets amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing threat of climate change are providing an impetus for a reevaluation of Trinidad and Tobago’s energy security and a concerted diversification of the nation’s energy mix.

The definition of energy security is broad, encompassing the physical security of infrastructure and trade routes; the ability to develop and acquire supplies; and the conduciveness of policies and business climates. It can refer to either the security of demand or of supply. For Trinidad and Tobago, it is both: The country’s economy relies on steady global demand, and domestic energy consumption is almost entirely oil and gas. ...

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