Govt in talks with commercial airlines for possible sale of carbon credits

President Dr Irfaan Ali

Months after receiving the first set of certified carbon credits for use by the aviation industry, the Guyana Government has already been in talks with major international airlines on a potential commercial agreement.
This was revealed by President Dr Irfaan Ali during a recent press conference held at State House.
Back in February, the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) issued Guyana with 7.14 million carbon credits dating back to 2021, marking the first time carbon credits were issued that can be used by airlines to meet their carbon emission targets for the 2024-2026 period.
According to President Ali, since the issuance of these certified credits, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration has engaged in commercial discussions with several airlines.
“And not only did we certify [our credits for the aviation market], but we have commenced commercial discussions and engagements with airlines for the sale of Guyana’s eligible carbon credits for that market,” the Head of State informed reporters at last Thursday’s press conference.
ART had said that the 7.14 million 2021 vintage carbon credits or TREES (The REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard) credits were issued in recognition of Guyana’s successful efforts to reduce emissions from forest loss and degradation and maintain “one of the world’s most intact tropical forests”.
It marked the first time that credits were issued which could be used by airlines toward their targets in the 2024-2026 phase of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) global emissions reduction programme – Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
“As a result of the authorisation and reporting to the [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] UNFCCC, Guyana’s TREES credits are eligible for use by airlines to meet their compliance requirements in the first phase of CORSIA, which began on 1 January 2024. One hundred and twenty-six countries are voluntarily participating in CORSIA’s first phase, covering roughly 80 per cent of annual emissions from the aviation sector.
“All participating airline operators with annual emissions over 10,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions must monitor and report their emissions, and then purchase carbon credits to offset any remaining emissions that exceed a percentage of their 2019 baseline emissions,” a statement from the Guyana Government in February detailed.

The statement had included comments from ART Executive Director Mary Grady, who noted that the secretariat was pleased to have worked with the PPP/C Government, to reach this milestone.
“ART was established to unlock finance at scale for countries that successfully protect and restore their forests. We are very pleased to have worked with the Government of Guyana to help navigate the Paris Agreement and ICAO processes and achieve the issuance of the first post-2020 CORSIA eligible credits in the market,” Grady said.
Meanwhile, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo was also quoted in the statement assuring future buyers of these carbon credits that they were verified through a rigorous scientific process aimed at ensuring that all social and environmental safeguards were followed.
“Guyana’s CORSIA-eligible issuance marks the latest milestone in a journey that we began in 2009 when we set out a vision for forging a low-carbon economy in Guyana – while also building a model for the world on how tropical forests can be maintained. The ART-TREES standard, recognised by ICAO, provided the basis to build the bridge needed between forest countries’ work within the United Nations REDD+ framework and Private Sector buyers,” Jagdeo stated.
In August 2023, the Vice President had told <<<Guyana Times>>> that there were “broad interests” from major players in the international aviation sector that are exploring buying the country’s high-quality carbon credits.
Last year, it was revealed that Guyana has the potential to raise at least US$2.5 billion from its carbon credits over the next 10 years. According to Vice President Jagdeo, in a presentation at COP28, Guyana can raise US$2.5 billion over the next 10 years, by tapping into favourable market upsides.
In December 2022, Guyana signed a historic contract with Hess Corporation for the sale of 33.7 million of its high-quality certified carbon credits – a deal that saw the nation earning US$750 million for just 30 per cent of its forest. In the agreement, a rate of US$15 per tonne of carbon was secured and the Guyana Government has allocated 15 per cent ($4.7 billion) towards Amerindian development.
Already, more than 500 projects that run the gamut from tourism to agriculture are currently being pursued utilising the $4.7 billion, which was given to hundreds of Indigenous villages as part of their share of the US$150 million carbon credits sale.
In addition to its rich biodiversity and ecosystem, Guyana’s total forest cover of some 18.4 million hectares stores more than 19.5 gigatonnes of carbon and removes some 154 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually.