President Irfaan Ali on Monday said the United States can play a major role in helping the Caribbean region secure funding for the protection of the environment.
The president was at the time having a ‘public conversation’ during an official state visit to Washington DC, where he shared his vision on the future of the US-Guyana relationship.
“We see the US as a strategic partner in helping the region to unlock concessional financing for concessional financing for adaptation and mitigation,” the President stated.
Climate change is a factor that threatens food security thereby causing unprecedented flooding, extreme heat, and economic loss. The Caribbean region, home to several developing countries, stand to face the impact of climate change due to the lack of financing.
Guyana, through the leadership of President Ali launched the country’s ‘Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030’ in its bid to protect the environment while at the same time receiving payment for their contribution of carbon credits.
Guyana has the second highest percentage of forest cover on earth and stores 19.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide.
President Ali said climate change has the ability to wipe out the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of an island in the Caribbean. Using Guyana as an example, President Ali recalled that in 2005, a massive flood wiped out 60 per cent of the country’s GDP.
The president said the vulnerability of the region to economic shock and disaster is not an image.
“So, the support of the US in pushing the agenda to unlock concessional financing and unlock financing to assist in adaptation and mitigation is critical,” he further stressed.
President Ali noted that the United States has always been a valued partner to Guyana, which has always been supportive of the country’s growth, and development.
He said this can be seen by the participation of the US private sector in the country’s oil and gas sector.
He said the intention is to expand their participation to all other sectors of Guyanese society. It was highlighted by the President that over the past two years, the United States and Guyana have worked at making the expansion a reality.
“We want the US private sector to play a greater role, to go after the opportunity. We want all the different departments within the United States system to understand the full potential and to participate in unlocking the opportunities that come with those potential” During the meeting today with the Department of State of Commerce, the president pointed out that low-hanging fruits were identified that the two countries can easily target to support the aspirations of Guyana. Areas, where there are opportunities for the private sector to benefit, were also identified the President said.