Gov’t doing its part to combat climate change – Vice President

calls for greater accountability by developed countries in achieving SDGs

Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, today said the PPP/C Administration has been going the extra mile and actively playing its part in combatting climate change, as he called for greater accountability by developed countries in relation to the achievement of sustainable development goals.

The vice president, speaking during a press conference at Office of President, outlined that, with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) set to start in the coming week, there is need for solidarity in providing assistance to those countries heavily affected by climate change.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during his press conference on Thursday

He noted that COP26 saw an onslaught of commitments that have not been upheld.

“In fact, we’ve had a downright reversal to the detriment of the climate and the targets set by many of these countries, countries that led the fight to ban coal as the dirtiest of fossil fuels, to have restarted coal-fired power plants in their countries,” he pointed out.

The VP made reference to a previous commitment made at COP26 to assist developing countries in the transition to green energy, and to provide at least $100 billion to facilitate this − a commitment that did not materialise.

“The $100 billion that was promised since 2009 has to be delivered. They promised in COP26 that they would double adaptation funding. We have to see how this will materialise, not just in providing the funds but in ensuring fast intermediation of these funds. The countries of the developed world cannot keep lecturing the developing world about sustainability and meeting targets and then make pledges, but not fulfill them,” he explained.

The vice president also lamented that not enough money is being spent on renewable energy globally and expressed that since the PPP/C Administration assumed office, it has implemented an extended Low Carbon Development Strategy to reduce the vulnerabilities of climate change impact.

“We’ve been working to get our forest carbon certified. We’ve listed with the art registry, the architecture for red plus transactions. And now we’re in the process of certifying in excess of 30 million credits we’ve made it known that we have served solicited offers for the sale of the credit.

“We have earned in excess of 200 million from Norway to the sale of forests carbon. In a short while we will go out to tender for both 35 megawatts of solar energy for the grades in Linden, Berbice and Essequibo, and we’re also utilizing nearly $100 million remaining from that very same fund to go towards adaptation efforts where we had had public consultations on DNI systems to manage water in Regions Two, Three, Five and six.”

Dr Jagdeo noted the efforts of the developed countries to discourage oil production and investments in the oil sector that prove crucial to building the economies of developing countries, vehemently declaring that they will not “succumb to the bullying”.

“It seems as though the burden of being responsible falls only on the developing world’s shoulders and they are the least contributor to the problem,” the vice president stated.

Moreover, the VP assured that the government has been working assiduously to ensure that indigenous communities benefit from the proceeds of the sale of forest carbon, including forest carbon from 2016.

“We’re not sitting around waiting for progress. We’re doing our bit on climate change. We’re not doing things in a doctrinaire manner. It must be in a just fair manner. And ultimately it must benefit our people, as well as the world, and must be globally responsible.”

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