“Guyana’s level of public transparency remarkable”- Global Environmental Economist Sukhdev

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, January 11, 2018

Renowned Environmental Economist, Pavan Sukhdev has commended the level of public transparency, demonstrated by the Government with the release of Guyana-Exxon Oil contract.

Pavan Sukhdev, Environmental economist and Special Adviser and Head of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative.

Praising the level of transparency in this agreement signed between the administration and the oil giant, Sukdev noted that in other countries, acquiring contract documents is nearly impossible. “There is a huge upside working these things out and applying mind and effort, then publishing your results in public view. This is fantastic. I have never seen so much public transparency where a random visitor from overseas can find out the contract between ExxonMobil and government in detail (from) top to bottom.”

The environmental economist was at the time giving a lecture on accounting principles of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in a sustainable economy, hosted at the Pegasus Hotel.

When questioned whether the oil agreement was realistic in keeping with the government’s Green State Development Strategy, Sukhdev replied, “That kind of size has an extent of greenhouse gas emissions which can be feasibly offset, so long as you take aggressive policy actions on other fronts; such as changing the energy mix, investing in renewables so that your dependence on that oil goes down.”

He further explained, “If your baseline verses your actual is greater than the carbon equivalent 60-100 barrels per day then the answer is you are green actually”.

The lecture, which saw a large turn-out, was arranged by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Conservation International (CI), the University of Guyana (UG,) the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the government.

Dr. David Singh Executive Director and Vice-President CI Guyana.

Senior Technical Director of Conservation International, Dr. David Singh, explained that UNEP is currently assisting Guyana in detailing its Green State Development Strategy (GSDS), adding that Sukhdev’s visit is part of that effort.

According to Sukhdev, an economy that “results in improved human well-being, social equity, whilst significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological environmental risks and ecological scarcities” can be deemed a Green Economy. He reasoned that understanding and managing one’s GDP in a thriving green economy can be challenging, however being properly informed helps.

Meantime, WWF’s Country Manager, Aiesha Williams explained that the lecture series is to ensure that all levels of society are empowered, and have the necessary knowledge.

Guyana’s economy has recorded real GDP growth of 2.2 percent during the first half of 2017.

Audience at the Lecture last evening at the Pegasus Hotel.

 

By: Zanneel Williams

 

For more photos, click on the link to the DPI’s Flickr Page

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