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Fri 27th Nov 2020

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Replace tourism ministry with a ministry of science and technology

Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, Leader of SVG Green Party, who was awarded the British Royal Air Force “Certificate of Merit” in engineering in recognition of his initiative and inventiveness towards the improvement of the engineering services of the RAF in 1989, contends that we should urgently replace the tourism ministry with a ministry of science and technology.

We need to prepare our country and our people for the future and the future is Green jobs and Green economies.

The Global Commission on the Future of Work identified the greening of economies among the central transitions impacting the future of work. This transition would create millions of jobs as countries adopt sustainable practices and clean technologies, with 24 million new jobs estimated to be created globally by 2030, if the right policies and the right skills to promote and respond to a greener economy are put in place.

Germany wants to lead the green recovery and has just allocated some $46 billion to sustainable investments in areas like renewable power and electric vehicles. One in four start-ups in Germany contribute to environmental and climate protection. Innovation and start-up companies are a major driver of change towards a sustainable economic system and increasingly important in the transition to renewable energy.

Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons) MSc, MBA is making a strong call for a billion dollar investment in education a year in SVG, to provide free, high-quality education from pre-school to university.

In SVG, we should focus on educating our children in science and technology and have a focus on Green engineering for immediate and long-term economic development of our country. We must also provide our people with the skills to set up their own business, so they can work in the global Green industry.

The richest and more industrial countries in the world have highly educated populations. Technology and high-quality education are the driving force of rich countries with strong economies. The young people of SVG are the future of SVG and it is important that they are given all the resources they need to reach their full potential, so they can be great leaders and problem solvers.

According to the UK newspaper, the Guardian, some of the top Green jobs are Green engineers, Water footprint managers and Virtual health support workers.

Choosing a Green economy and renewable energies is a great way also for communities and individual Vincentians to make money, with community and individual ownership of renewable energy production. In 2013, 50% of the entire Germany production of renewables was owned by individuals, communities and cooperatives – with the sources ranging from home rooftop solar panels to wind power and biogas production on agricultural land.

In SVG, there is a high level of unemployment. Making the change to a Green economy will create thousands of new jobs. In Germany, in 2011, there were 372,000 people working in the nation’s renewable energy sectors and the projections are such that these numbers are expected to be in the 400,000 to 500,000 range by 2021.

A Green economy in SVG would boost the amount of money circulating in the country and significantly increase businesses’ sales. In Germany, the booming renewable energy industry alone has an annual turnover of EC$31.3 billion.

We must modernise the SVG economy and create thousands of new jobs by setting up a renewable energy industry, a recycling industry, a green technologies and innovation industry, helping entrepreneurs to set up Green businesses, providing incentives to help existing businesses make their products environmentally-friendly in order to gain a competitive advantage and by building a science and technology university.

We should replace the tourism ministry with a ministry of science and technology and modernise our economy.

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