??Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in talks on the ‘green economy’??with Regional Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Margarita Astralaja, in Mach.
(A. Miller/BGIS)

Despite its small size on the world stage and its limited resources, Barbados will be in the forefront in efforts to bring more awareness to the need to find alternative sources of energy and avoid the continued dependence on fossil fuels.

Barbados’ Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, told this to China’s Premier Wen Jiabao, during talks with the leader of the world’s largest emerging superpower.

Such is its commitment to be part of that drive that it is prepared "to collaborate with a big power like China, which has made advances in the use of renewable energy. We think that there is a basis for a strengthening of our relationship in that regard, so as to divert some of the resources we now spend on the importation of those fuels to other areas of human and social development."

He said there was an untenable situation here, where the country was spending as much money on the importation of oil as it spent on education.

Premier Wen welcomed this initiative by Barbados, and suggested that the two countries could collaborate on this matter at the bilateral level and in international fora.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister echoed similar sentiments on finding and using alternative sources of energy when he and Foreign Minister, Senator Maxine McClean, held in-depth discussions with officials of China’s Energy Conservation and Environment Protection Centre. That institution is the foremost professional organisation in Beijing working to promote energy efficiency and a cleaner environment.

The Centre was established some three decades ago by the Governments of China and France and the United Nations Development Programme.

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