After years of grappling with the intensifying effects of the global climate crisis that it did not contribute to and with no financial help from the perpetrators such as the USA and China to help mitigate the devastating effects, Guyana, like many new oil producers are being told to quit while they are ahead with their fossil fuel agenda.
Ringing these alarm bells in recent times are organizations like the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. While their words of caution are often respected and their calls for action adhered to, it will by no means stop President, Irfaan Ali and his Ministers from developing the nine billion barrels of oil resources that have been discovered in the Stabroek Block.
During a recent press conference, Ali made it clear that his administration has committed to improving the lives of the citizenry, and that it shall do via the use of the transformational oil revenues that will come.
Expounding further, the Head of State noted his intention to use a portion of the oil money to create the fiscal space that is needed to ensure the country’s food programme can develop in a competitive way to meet regional and international demands. He also noted that the revenues can be used to enhance the country’s tourism image as well as improve services across sectors.
Following this, Ali alluded to the unfair burden that is being thrown onto the shoulders of new producers like Guyana to place their economic progression on pause while those who are responsible for the climate crisis still lag on meeting their climate change targets and in providing promised funding for developing nations to deal with the effects of climate change.
Ali said, “You and I know there is a gap as to when the (climate change) targets can be realized. We also know that many targets were set for Climate Change and…there was also money that the developed world had set aside for climate change and we are still waiting for it. There is now a new pledge for new money.”
On the environmental front, Ali confidently stated that Guyana has an unmatched record while adding that his administration will continue to pursue initiatives such as the Low Carbon Development Strategy that will preserve the nation’s green identity.
Looking ahead, Ali said his government has a clear-cut development agenda that it intends to pursue while being cognizant of the need to protect the environment and maintain its credentials in that regard.