PRESIDENT, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has left for Dubai, United Arab Emirates to participate in the Conference of Parties (COP). This is the 28th such conference of leaders hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).
Guyana is expected to push climate financing, forest incentives and its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LDCS). It will also co-chair the group of forested countries in the Commonwealth in providing guidance on the environment. The President will be joined by other senior government officials including Vice-President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo.
According to Dr. Jagdeo, Guyana, as an emerging oil-producing country, has to its advantage good and strong credentials, and has already solicited the support of the international community to address issues it will be advancing.
Guyana, as a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) shares the concerns of vulnerability due to changing weather patterns resulting in rising sea levels. This is indeed a serious issue which has had devastating consequences for the region.
Guyana, not so long ago, suffered from some of the worst floods in its recent history and all measures to reduce carbon emissions will be fully advocated and embraced. The call for adaptation funding and compensation for loss and damage is high on the CARICOM agenda.
But, as noted by Dr. Jagdeo, while Guyana is supportive of the CARICOM agenda, it will also push for the richer countries to make good on their promises for increased climate-related funding. The push is for the world to deliver on the right incentives globally to allow for a targeted reduction in carbon emission levels to the desired level.
Guyana has already benefitted from the sale of carbon credits which in turn is utilised to support the country’s developmental efforts, with particular emphasis on the development of indigenous communities.
Guyana, it will be recalled, has already received the first tranche from the sale of 30 per cent of forest carbon at a minimum cost of $750 million of which $22.5 million was given to 242 communities. The remainder of the money remains in the government’s coffers to be used for adaptation funding.
According to Dr. Jagdeo: “We intend to pursue our views vigorously and we have a good example; we are one of the few countries that has an LCDS and the biggest forest deal in the world;we have a robust and good quality carbon. We have the only international jurisdictional certification for forests…so we go to COP with great credibility. We go to COP as an emerging oil producer but one that still supports reduction in fossil fuel subsidies; we go to COP with a call for early disbursements. We believe in new technology that should reduce the carbon footprint of activities in the oil and gas sector.”
The contributions of Guyana and the strong advocacy role on climate mitigation measures by President Ali and Vice-President Jagdeo at the COP are indeed commendable. Guyana and the entire world stands to benefit enormously from their inputs.