Updated Low Carbon Development Strategy for National Consultation from July

President Ali and Vice President Jagdeo Engage with Global Leaders

On Friday 22nd April, President Irfaan Ali met virtually with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and Commonwealth Heads of Government from the Americas. On the same day, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo took part in a round table chaired by United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, who was appointed by President Joe Biden to re-invigorate global leadership on climate by the United States of America.

Speaking after the roundtable, Vice President Jagdeo said “The return of the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement and international efforts to combat climate change is very welcome, and the ambition and commitment of the new Administration are evident. In Guyana, we too are re-engaging at the highest levels with the international community and starting preparatory work to update the Low Carbon Development Strategy later in the year.”

Already, the Government has re-started the investment of US$135 million received as payments under from the Guyana-Norway agreement – this money had been held back after the Caribbean Court of Justice ruling against the then APNU+AFC Government.

In parallel, the Government is focussed on restoring ambition for the future, and preliminary work is ongoing towards preparing an updated LCDS. This will be published in early July at the start of a process of national consultation. The document will set out proposals on how Guyana can restore its global leadership on climate and forests, for the benefit of Guyana and our citizens.

In advance of July, preparatory work is on-going. This includes (i) meeting all of Guyana’s commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; (ii) assessing the availability of public and private finance for a new phase of Guyana’s LCDS; (iii) preparing to enter into a successor agreement with Norway; (iv) working with other forest countries to advance REDD+ and related initiatives at the United Nations and elsewhere.

As part of these efforts, Guyana welcomed the launch of the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) Coalition on Friday 22 April. The Coalition was launched by the Governments of Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, along with several of the world’s leading private companies – including Amazon.com, Unilever, GSK, AirBnB and Salesforce. This offers the potential to build on the progress made under the Guyana-Norway agreement – which centred on an inter-governmental agreement for payment for ecosystem services – by combining it with a market-based mechanism.  The potential market is starting to grow, so Guyana is exploring potential partners and opportunities as far and as wide as possible, working in close collaboration with Norway and other partners.  Towards this end, Guyana has entered into a Letter of Intent to explore the possibilities offered by the new coalition, but no commitments have been made.

The assessment of these possibilities, along with all the other LCDS preparatory work, will continue over the coming months, so that a draft LCDS can be prepared and released for consultation in July. At that point, all Guyanese can be informed of potential proposals, examine the various options, express their opinions, and be part of the finalisation of a way forward that benefits everyone in this country.

Department of Environment and Climate Change
Office of the President