Energy Department engages private, civil bodies on green agenda

Through the Energy Department, stakeholders from the Private Sector and civil society were privy to the dynamics of the green agenda on Thursday at State House, where discussions were also facilitated on how this framework would roll out and their input when it comes into play.
The coalition Administration is looking at the pending revenue from the oil and gas sector to cushion the execution of its Green State Development Strategy (GSDS), even though the framework has been considered flawed for failing to focus on the Guyanese people.
Stakeholder Managing Coordinator Onika Stellingburg explained to the media that this strategy would consume ‘massive amounts’ of resources, which Government is hoping to cushion with the oil revenues.
“The finding of oil is something that is very significant for a developing country as Guyana to transition into a green state. To develop projects of any sort or kind, massive amounts of resources would be needed. Ideally, what we’re hoping to do is to have the finances and the resources from the oil to go into the development of a green state,” Stellingburg noted.

Meanwhile, Guyana would have to wait 15 years under the GSDS before it could attain 65 per cent renewable energy.
“We’re hoping to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, transition to cleaner energy, but to do all of this, we do need the resources to invest into that. We’re going to strive to achieve up to 65 per cent renewable energy by 2035 and then assess how much we can uptake as we go.”
The Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 was handed over to President David Granger earlier this year and just days later, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo labelled the document as ceremonial and promised to have it scrapped when the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) returned to power.
According to Jagdeo, the coalition’s strategy is a flawed approach since it does not focus on Guyanese and tangible returns to them.
“I made it clear that the PPP will scrap this approach. The Green State Strategy, when they launch it in September, it would just be a good photo opportunity for the President and another speech touting the ‘Green Credentials’ of our Government. But in reality, it will mean very little to people in Guyana in terms of jobs, better access to health and education, or anything else,” he stated.
Jagdeo, who was a recipient of a Champion of the Earth Award back in 2010 while he was still President, had pioneered the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which was launched under his regime in 2009. As such, the former President on Thursday did a comparison of the two strategies.
“The fundamental thing that is different about our strategies is that one, the LCDS was an economic strategy that sought to move Guyana to prosperity and our people to greater wealth and benefits, using a decarboniser, a cleaner energy and a green pathway. In their case, it is about an environment strategy mainly that they’re hoping to superimpose on the country and, therefore, it requires funding from our sources,” he said.
He pointed out that the LCDS was indigenously developed from more than 1000 engagements and with one foreign consultant who did pro bono work on the theoretical base of the strategy. The GSDS, on the other hand, Jagdeo noted, was developed by external consultants.
Further, the Opposition Leader outlined that unlike the coalition’s strategy which will be funded not only by taxpayers’ money but revenues from the emerging oil and gas sector, the LCDS identified ways of using the country’s strategic assets to make money.