LCDS initiatives will be financed through sale of carbon credits- draft document

The ambitious initiatives set out in Guyana’s recently launched expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030, will be funded from money earned from the sale of carbon credits.

The sale is one initiative outlined in the draft document. Just how much will be gained from the sale of Guyana’s carbon credits is uncertain, however, estimates informing the development of LCDS 2030 place the value Guyana’s forests provide to the world at US$40-$54 billion.

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali

By refusing to clear its forests, Guyana foregoes opportunities for agriculture, mining and infrastructure, in favour of providing ecosystem services to the world and sequestering carbon to mitigate the rapid warming of the earth.

Guyana’s position is that its people, and those from countries with similar forest endowments, must be recognised for this contribution to the world in a tangible way.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali first announced the plan to sell carbon credits during a press conference in April.

“To advance our participation in the carbon market, we have signed a letter of intent with Emergent Finance Accelerated Inc., a US based non-profit organisation, to sell our carbon credit through credit contract. This agreement has the potential of earning us hundreds of millions of US dollars annually,” Dr. Ali had said.

Then, in early November, the President advocated for the advancement of systems to operationalise the carbon credit market at the highest level yet.

Addressing world leaders at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Dr. Ali said, “forests constitute a powerful arsenal in the fight against climate change. Forest-rich countries must be provided with the incentives necessary to keep their forests intact and to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. Mindful that deforestation contributes 16 per cent to annual global emissions and in recognition of the ecosystem and climate services provided by forests, it is imperative that we finalise the rules for carbon markets and REDD+ so as to properly value tropical forests and the climate services which they provide.”

Guyana has earned funds for the preservation of its forests before, through its partnership with Norway, which earned US$212.52 million in payments in the period 2009-2015. The PPP/C Government has already earmarked some of these funds for renewable energy projects to clean up and diversify Guyana’s energy mix.

Guyana and Norway partnered to build a world-leading forest Monitoring, Reporting and Verification System (MRVS), a combined Geographic Information System (GIS) and field-based monitoring system that provides the basis for measuring verifiable changes in Guyana’s forest cover and resultant carbon emissions.

This platform will advance Guyana’s efforts to put its carbon credits on international markets.

An aerial view of Guyana’s forest

The first phase of government’s plan to 2025 will see Guyana generating the credits, able to be independently verified by quality and adherence to the rules of the marketplace. The credits will bear specific adherence to UNFCCC’s guidance on REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation), pending the launch of a full REDD+ mechanism.

Phase Two, from 2025 onward, will see Guyana enhancing the quality of its credits through the establishment of a national carbon registry, integrated with international markets.

The initiatives which will be financed from these proceeds will advance Guyana’s sustainable development for the next decade.

LCDS 2030 is open for public consultation, and is intended to be finalised by March, 2022.