Government condemns misleading article on allocations to Amerindians under carbon credit sale

The Government of Guyana refutes the misleading article that appeared in the Friday, January 17, 2023 edition of the Kaieteur News headlined, “Out of US$750 million carbon credit payout Govt. gives US$23M to Amerindians.”

The article falsely and maliciously purported that the Government is in receipt of the full US750M payment from carbon sales under the agreement with Hess Corporation.

On December 1, 2022, the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions announced the issuance of 33.47 million TREES credit to Guyana for the five-year period from 2016 to 2020. The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) is a global initiative that seeks to certify the reducing of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), as well as restore forests and protect intact forests.

On December 2, 2022, the Government of Guyana entered into an agreement with the Hess Corporation for the sale of carbon credits for a minimum of US$750 million between 2022 and 2032. The first payment from the Hess Corporation to Guyana for the sale of carbon credits has been made.

Initial receipts from the one carbon credit agreement completed to date will total US$150 million by the end of 2023 – with US$112.5 million already received and a further US$37.5 million to come in July 2023.
The payment of US$22.5 million to Amerindian communities represents allocations from the first tranche of US$150 under the Hess contract for the period ending 2023. Therefore, continuous allocations to Amerindians will be made, as other payments are made to government under the agreement and potentially additional agreement that may be entered into – recognizing that the Hess Contract covers a third of Guyana’s national credits.

All this was meticulously explained by Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo during an engagement with several Amerindian leaders at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Wednesday, February 15. The meeting was also live streamed for media houses and the general public to follow the discussions.

In keeping with the commitments made in our Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 and Resolution No. 45, adopted by the National Assembly on August 8, 2022, the National Assembly, including through its Committees, will have oversight of the investment of all national revenues received from forest climate markets and managed via the Consolidated Fund through the budgetary process.

The Government is on record as committing to be fully transparent regarding payment source which will be communicated publicly at the point of payment, and at the point of transfer into the Consolidated Fund, when the payment value in Guyana Dollars will also be communicated. Already, all payments under the Hess Contract are publicly available on the LCDS website homepage.

We have also been very clear on how deposits will be allocated. The allocation of 15 percent will go to community/village-led programmes for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) as set out in Village Sustainability Plans or equivalent, put together by communities themselves, and the remaining 85 percent will be allocated to national priorities outlined in the LCDS 2030 (e.g. renewable energy as described in Chapter 3, land titling as described in Chapter 4, repairing canals, and protecting against climate change as outlined in chapter 5).

Given the volume of information in the public domain and available to the media, Kaieteur News must be condemned for this misleading report. Therefore, the Government of Guyana calls on Kaieteur News to undertake a full retraction of the aforementioned article.

The Government of Guyana will continue to champion press freedom in Guyana, but cautions media houses, particularly the Kaieteur News, to adhere to the sacred tenants of the media profession by being responsible in providing accurate information to the members of the public.