US Secretary of State backs Guyana’s climate, food security ambitions

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By Vishani Ragobeer
Vishani@newsroom.gy

Guyana is pursuing a low carbon development agenda while balancing new oil and gas production and the country’s dual pursuit was lauded by United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken who visited Guyana on Thursday.

Mr. Blinken arrived in Guyana for talks with the Irfaan Ali-led administration, a day after he met with Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders in Trinidad.

Those talks focused on cooperation in several areas, including energy and food security, trade, climate change adaptation and crime.

At a press conference held after bilateral engagements between President Ali and Secretary Blinken, the US official said talks on energy security and climate adaptation were “front and centre.”

And he backed Guyana’s low carbon ambitions.

“Guyana will be soon be the highest producing country per capita in the world but it is also a leader in forest conservation demonstrating that is possible to prioritise climate mitigation (and) environmental protection while responsibly using oil and gas resources,” the U.S official said.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali (at left) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State House in Georgetown (Photo: Office of the President/ July 6, 2023)

In a matter of years, by 2027, Guyana is expected to produce about a million barrels of oil daily. Still, the country believes that it can gradually phase out the use of harmful fossil fuels and use more renewable energy sources like hydropower, solar and wind energy.

While Guyana does all of that, the country wants to continue protecting its vast, intact forests that help to suck the harmful gases emitted from the burning of fossil fuels.

Guyana’s leadership on food security was also addressed and Blinken noted this issue is a “critical priority” for both countries.

“There has been an ongoing effort that has been of great significance,” he said.

To this end, he said the US will continue to support Guyana’s efforts through the continued provision of resources to boost production from small farmers and help countries adapt to the harsh effects of climate change.

Blinken, however, explained that this support is being provided so that countries can feed themselves.

The support the US is providing to Guyana and other Caribbean countries in food security and climate change falls under the US- Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PAC 2030).

The PAC 2030 was launched last year at the sidelines of the IX Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California.

Through this, the US hopes to partner with Caribbean countries to strengthen energy security and promote climate adaptation and resilience. The country also hopes to improve the Caribbean’s access to development financing, needs to fund developmental goals.

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