Guyana playing its part to curb climate change with LCDS 2030

The adverse and potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change are already being experienced in Guyana, and since the 1960s, Guyana has observed marked increases in temperatures, sea levels and the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events.

As one of many small developing states, Guyana is doing its part to improve and sustain a clean world for all, and the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 is a clear example of how the PPP/C Government intends to protect the biodiversity in Guyana and by extension, the world.

Rewa River, North Rupununi

Launched by His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the new and expanded programme, which is still in its draft stages, seeks to create a new-low-carbon economy in Guyana by establishing incentives which value the world’s ecosystem services, and promote these as an essential component of a new model of global development with sustainability at its core.

In Guyana’s case, it is about harnessing the value of the country’s ecosystem services to build a long-term, low-carbon diversification opportunity.

In protecting against climate change, Guyana, along with a number of other countries, gave its full support at the recently concluded United Nations 26th Conference of Parties (COP26), held in Glasgow, Scotland. In fact, over 130 leaders, representing more than 90 per cent of the world’s forests, have committed to work together to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 in the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use. Countries have also committed to the funding pledge of US$12 billion between 2021 and 2025 to finance forest-relate matters.

From early 2022, there is a strong possibility that Guyana could access market-based mechanisms for forest climate services that includes private, as well as international public sector financing. This will enable a pathway to transition from the existing Guyana-Norway partnership and increase the value of sustainable managing Guyana’s forests. The monitoring, verifying and reporting system, built since 2009, will also act as a platform for integration with other ecosystem services markets.

Guyana can also undergo one of the world’s most ambitious energy transitions and grow the economy up to five-fold, while keeping greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation at around 2019 levels. This can be done through the replacement of expensive, polluting heavy fuel oil with natural gas as a bridge to an energy system built mainly from hydropower, solar and wind power.

Alongside the national low-carbon energy transition, targeted investments can be made in the underlying infrastructure of a broader, low-carbon economy to create jobs all over the country and enhance livelihoods. This includes investments to enhance digital connectivity in under-served communities, to improve transportation, improve access to finance, and create micro and small, low-carbon enterprises. It also includes targeted support for Amerindian and other forest-dependent communities, with a dedicated 15 per cent revenues from forest climate services, adding to other investments for Amerindian communities.

Importantly, the new LCDS programme intends to align its operations with global climate change goals. Guyana will act strategically and responsibly as the sector develops, supporting global energy security while diversifying and decarbonising Guyana’s domestic economy and investing in development priorities for all Guyanese, including health, education and low-carbon opportunities.

At the same time, the government will advocate internationally for a strong global carbon price and the removal of subsidies on fossil fuel – to incentivize the lowest carbon, most cost-effective oil and gas in the global marketplace in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement under which there will be demand for decades to come. In parallel, Guyana will advance a “no flaring” policy, and mandate the use of best technology in the oil and gas sector to limit its environmental impact.


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