EMERGING developing nations around the world today face a different playing field than did the old industrial giants of the 20th century global village, and this is an important consideration that directly impacts Guyana’s development agenda.
Although it may seem to be an unfair imbalance in the way that mankind holds up certain values for one set of nations and different values for others, the new worldview emerging in this century is a real factor, and cannot be ignored or circumvented. Today, 21st century progressive thinking pushes global development to consider the full ramifications of human socioeconomic progress, rather than just raw economic growth, with even the old measurement of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) undergoing a major shift in how the planet’s overall wealth is gauged.
In fact, the new way aligns well with Dr Cheddi Jagan’s thesis for a New Global Human Order, which the United Nations has adopted.
Global leaders are working hard behind the scenes to prepare for the Glasgow Climate Conference in November, with the main goal and monumental ambition to cause a rapid transformation of mass consciousness across the international arena, away from that old way of seeing only raw economics, to a new way of placing clean climate measurements at the heart and core of development and progress across the planet. This applies to countries, companies, and communities — the full gamut of human society.
For the first time in human history there is a serious global movement of influential world leaders to cause mankind to live for a humane world, with the earth’s natural environment the uppermost accounting measurement in how progress is gauged, quantified and measured.
The Climate Conference is the 26th annual conference of the United Nations Conference of the Parties, called COP26, and organises a worldwide gathering of political leaders, business tycoons, and influential organisation heads from all over the world, to map out the new way of doing things in the world, with the main goal of causing a shift across the global village for development and progress to move away from the bare, raw, detached numbers of economic considerations, to always measure progress only in terms of impact on the global climate, on the pristine planet.
Guyana stands at a beautiful place in this emerging world scene, as a net-clean climate generator with upwards of 80 per cent of its natural forests intact, and as a major emerging global oil-and-gas producer. Guyana’s contribution to this new world order could well be to show the global village how these two seeming contradictory development paths could converge and complement each other, and lead to progress, peace and prosperity, while preserving the planet’s pristine nature, without compromising the earth’s integrity for sustaining life and maintaining a thriving natural ecosystem.
Much of the Guyanese leadership for this resides in the hands of Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo, whose work within the natural environment movement is well-known around the world. His presence on the international stage as an advocate for sustainable development is second to none in the Caribbean, and his leadership on the local scene with the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) equips him with the leadership acumen and knowledge to take on this agenda for this country.
More importantly, the government’s job is to fit Guyana within the new global framework on how development and progress happen, and how it is all measured and how accounting integrity aligns with ensuring that the single most important goal is a pristine planet, rather than mere raw economic boom.
COP26 aims to bring global influential leaders together to ensure that the Paris Agreement goals are achieved with positive results. This Climate Conference is different from past ones, in that it moves away from imposing mandates on countries to implement the goals of the Paris Agreement. This strategy of mandated imposition was not working, with significant pushback and even protests disrupting plans and projects to implement the goals at national levels.
At the COP26 gathering, a new way is rolling out, one that seeks to cause a shift in how mankind sees development and progress, whereby the underlying value that development and progress should aim for, and the accounting measurements that tell this story, should align more with a pristine planet than with profits and the bottom line. What good, in other words, is a company or country or community that declares profits and black ink instead of red at the end of the financial year, if the pristine planet suffers irreparable damage from that profitable operation?
COP26 in 2021 is marking over a quarter of a century since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change commenced positioning global consciousness towards a more humane global order that aims solely for sustainability and preservation of the ecosystem, one that positions people to see only a pristine planet, rather than polished playthings that damage the earth’s natural ecosystem.
No longer can countries aim for mere industrialisation and building out industrial development, with concrete and steel marking the path of progress, as Europe and North America did over the past 100 years of the Industrial Age.
In the new world, progress and development must align with preservation of the pristine planet, and for emerging developing nations such as Guyana, and even the big ones such as South Africa, China, India, Brazil and Russia, this new consideration which will be a new mass consciousness that could start sweeping the world by this year-end, would determine how the future unfolds and what the road ahead looks like, as progress takes on a new face across the earth.