Pres. Ali urges world leaders to keep pledge and fix climate, other inequalities
President Dr Irfaan Ali Sunday appealed to the conscience of the developed world to swiftly find a fix to the daunting global inequalities that developing countries like Guyana continue to confront in trade, access to healthcare and food/climate security.
The Guyanese Head of State was speaking at the ‘Green Day’ walk organised by the Environmental Protection Agency in observance of World Environment Day.
Dr. in expressing his frustration, he highlighted that developed countries are most responsible for climate and yet are unwilling to pay for the damages.
President Ali said the developed countries have not been honouring their pledge to find $100 billion annually to help developing countries with climate change adaptation and mitigation.
“We must hold the developed countries to stay true to the pledges they make.
“If you look at adaption alone, just for adaption measures in the developing economies it will cost between $140 to $300 billion annually if we are to successfully meet adaption alone by 2030, this is the reality with rising sea level, with changes to the climatic condition,” President Ali lamented.
Further, President Ali reminded that those challenged developing countries had to stand at the back of the line to get access to COVID vaccines, noting that global inequalities have tripled.
“I know how difficult it was to get vaccines for Guyanese and I know we had to pay more than the developed world, that is the unevenness that we must fix when we talk about [One Earth],” President Ali said referencing this year’s Environment Day theme.
The Head-of-State explained that Guyana has a fundamental right to equitable development and called for the developed world to do more in helping developing countries.
“Don’t task that the developing world must move to invest in renewables that are not fixing, that is passing the bug to the developing world again, that you must find the money to fix the problem once more, that is not the solution, tell us how to fix it, tell us how we are going to raise the money to fix this,” President Ali stated while explaining that the was not only speaking as the President of Guyana but a global leader for the developing world.
Nevertheless, the Head-of-State related that Guyana will explore all possible revenue-generating activities so that the country can have the resources necessary for the adaption and mitigation of climate change.
This he revealed can be done by ensuring the economy is built on viability, sustainability and reduced inequality.
President Ali said the government’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) is also seeking to strike a balance between the growth and development of the country.
“We have 425 km of coastline that we must protect in this country, who is going pay for it, where is the money going to come from to protect this 425 km of coastline that we have to protect to save lives, to save crops, to ensure we are more secure to save livelihood it is us, it is Guyana, we will have to find that more than $1 billion in adaption just to make this one need,” President Ali said.
He further called for individual and collective action to address climate change.
“We need to take individual responsibility, if each one of us recommits ourselves to pursue a path in which we see littering as a sin, then we will be able to make an individual change and when we make those individual changes, we will be able to pursue collective action,” President Ali said, noting the issue is not a government or private sector problem, but a humanity problem.”
President Ali planted a Barbadian mahogany tree on Sunday and said it symbolises strength, lifespan and resilience.