Jagdeo says Granger, others mistaken that expanded LCDS will be presented at COP26


Just days after launching the expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) – a document that will ramp up action to fight climate change – Guyana’s Head of State Dr. Irfaan Ali has left to attend the 2021 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26.

But the ambitious new development plan, centered on making money by saving the forest and creating solutions to the climate crisis, will not be presented at the conference which brings together scores of world leaders to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

According to Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, it is a mistaken impression that this document will be presented at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

“The agenda is set and to think you can go and radically change what is being negotiated is wishful thinking,” Jagdeo said.

Speaking during a press conference on Monday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, Jagdeo explained that with consultations open on the expanded LCDS and the revision to Guyana’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), those will first need to be finalised before Guyana goes international with its national strategy.

“Somehow in the public domain there is an impression created by many and it is a misguided impression that these documents will be presented at COP26.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo [Photo: News Room/October 2, 2020]
“Former President David Granger said in an interview that most Guyanese only become aware of what will be the national presentation at Glasgow days after Dr. Ali launched the LCDS,” Jagdeo said.

Jagdeo said, in fact, there will be no room at COP26 for any country to present a national strategy in Glasgow.

“It’s far from the truth.”

Instead of achieving 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025 (as stated in Guyana’s 2015 NDCs), the country will phase out the use of about 70 per cent of the non-renewable, fossil fuels by 2027 through the use of natural gas and renewable energy.

Since 2009, Guyana has been bargaining at the United Nations for a system that pays the country for keeping the forest intact. Norway was the first to buy in, signing a deal for USS$250 million, once deforestation rates remain intact.

And that has been the case. The latest figures from the authorities put the deforestation rate at 0.006 perfect, that’s 90% lower than most tropical countries.

So, the country is shopping around for countries and companies who want to offset the harmful gases they are sending into the atmosphere by paying Guyana to keep its forests standing.  A US$300 million deal is in the making.

The Vice President said there will be four months of consultations for persons to share technical, popular and other views to be taken into consideration before the expanded LCDS is finalised.

There will only be a final position on the revision to the NDCs after the consultations on the LCDS concluded by March 2022, Jagdeo also assured.

The previous APNU+AFC government had committed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as part of its contribution to the global effort to combat climate change to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.

But according to Jagdeo it is unrealistic and needs revising.

“No country in the world has made such a pledge. Not a single pledged 50% of renewable by 2025.

“What consultations did they have when they made such unrealistic pledge on behalf of Guyana? It can’t be accomplished, it’s unrealistic,” the Vice President noted.

According to Jagdeo, Guyana will have to negotiate as part of larger groupings and blocs such as CARICOM to get the developed world to raise climate ambition.

CARICOM, among other things, wants an agreement to cut emissions, decarbonize earlier and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Jagdeo said the current pledges is not enough to achieve keep temperature rises below 1.5 degrees Celsius or pre-industrial levels.

“If do not there will be exponential catastrophic events.”

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