ENERGY Minister Stuart Young urged young people to use social media not only for fun but also to educate others, especially when it comes to clean energy and energy preservation.
He was speaking at the launch of Re-Energize TnT – a collaborative educational programme between the National Gas Company (NGC), Renew Caribe and Shell – at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain on Wednesday.
Re-Energize TnT is a renewable energy education programme that spans across different secondary schools in the country.
Young told students from Mayaro and Woodbrook and Mayaro Secondary Schools that TT is currently experiencing the effects of climate change first-hand, such as rising sea levels, flooding and landslides.
"Those are some of the ill effects," he said.
He told the students they have to make decisions which will eventually "carry TT forward."
He said he and the Prime Minister, have been "travelling all over the world" for the past 11 months and "having audiences with the leaders of the world in the energy sector."
Reminding them that gas is the cleanest fossil fuel, he said it's crucial for TT to remain at the forefront of the gas industry.
"We (government) are determined to not just talk the talk," he said, adding that they are not like some leaders who go on TV to "just talk. It real easy to talk, eh. You could say you going to do so and so, and it doesn't happen."
But this government, he said, is working on getting new technologies to help walk the walk.
He said installing solar panels in schools was one of several ideas being considered, but told the students: "You have to buy into it.
"How do you use things like TikTok to connect to people, to get out your message, in that we have to save our planet?
"It is as drastic as that."
He warned them not to listen to any "ole talk" from people who try to tell them the oil and gas industry in TT must be stopped.
"We ain't doing that here in TT. We will do it responsibly, we will do it clean. That is the way to do it."
NGC chairman Mark Loquan said many people still don't see climate change as an important topic.
"Given the compelling evidence that exists that tells us we are in deep trouble, one can conclude that we are, perhaps, not sharing that evidence loudly, often enough or widely enough."
He said energy education was integral, so the programme was easy for NGC to get behind.
Country chairman and senior vice president for Shell TT Eugene Okpere said just as food and water are essential to survive, so is energy.
"But we need to provide this energy where it's affordable, secure...that's not an easy task (and) with everything going on around the world, it is now a daily concern. We can't take energy security for granted any more."