‘No selfish plan’ – Jagdeo says Guyana pumping oil, selling carbon credits to protect against climate crisis

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Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo argues that Guyana is not selfishly pursuing its economic interests but it is doing what it has to so that it can be protected against the ongoing climate crisis.

“We have to secure our funding to meet global commitments but to secure this country.

“… Developing the oil and gas sector can allow us to get the revenues to fund the billions of dollars of adaptation needs that we have to meet,” the Vice President said while speaking at the State House in Georgetown on Friday.

Guyana hopes to show the world that it can sustainably manage an oil and gas industry while continuing to protect its pristine rainforests that provide life-saving services to the world.

By pursuing this dual agenda, the country hopes to earn enough money to strengthen its sea defences, improve electricity supply, develop other infrastructure and advance social services for its people.

The Vice President does not believe that this is impossible, nor does he believe that a prolific oil and gas production will erase Guyana’s environmental credentials.

He says even if there are 10 oilships operating offshore, Guyana will still remain a carbon negative country; that is, it will store more harmful carbon dioxide than is released into the atmosphere by oil and gas production.

Further, he reiterated Guyana’s commitments to global plans. Among those, he said, is the removal of subsidies from fossil fuel production.

The Former President also called out developed nations for failing to provide adequate funding to smaller, developing countries like Guyana- leaving those small countries with no other choice but to fend for themselves.

He reminded the gathering that rich countries promised to provide the entire US$100 billion in funding to developing nations. This target was set at the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference.

Of the amount that was provided, he said funds were disbursed as loans and not as grants. So Dr. Jagdeo believes the multilateral process of engagement is simply not working.

“We have no choice but to adapt now and the funds are not going to come through the multilateral process,” he lamented.

He also bemoaned that rich countries continue to pump and burn oil and gas to meet their needs- in direct contravention to global low carbon efforts.

The Vice President said, “If they want us to move faster to decarbonise the world, they should tame their energy demand or alternatively, put more money into renewable energy.”

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