Guyana will play key role in global climate, food and energy security – Ali

Guyana is being positioned to be at the centre of important regional and even global conversations, with President Dr Irfaan Ali assuring that the country will play key roles in conversations on climate, food and energy security on multiple levels.
On Saturday during the launching of a Histopathology Lab & 128 Slice CT Scanner at Dr Balwant Singh Hospital, President Ali spoke of how the Government intends on developing Guyana in a sustainable way and raising its regional and international profile.
Already, Guyana has been leading the regional charge towards food security and is also playing a key role in energy security in the region and has earned global renown for the recent steps it has taken when it comes to climate services. The President made it clear that even more will be accomplished.
“Mark my words, there will be no energy conversation in the world without the name Guyana mentioned. And not petroleum. I’m speaking about energy. I’m speaking about natural gas. Regional energy hub. Renewables. There will be no international conversation on energy without Guyana being mentioned. And I say this in a very humble way. But it’s just the truth.”
“On food security, there will be no regional conversation without Guyana being mentioned. Whether it’s in Latin America or the Caribbean, or even in the global context. Because we are making the investment to ensure that we have the systems in place to make Guyana competitive, sustainable and part of the answer in terms of food security,” President Ali said.
According to the President, the three “most important storms” that the world will have to grapple with in the coming years are energy security, food security and climate. He added that the goal is to have Guyana play a key role in the solutions to all three of these storms.
“If we are talking climate change, climate services and environment, there shall be no conversation without Guyana being mentioned. Right now, we’re being sought out, for the innovative approach being taken on the forests, the Low Carbon Development Strategy. And our intention is to work to provide global support and leadership on this,” the President added.
In food security, Guyana has been a leading advocate in the Region for increasing food production. Government’s focus on agriculture is down to the vision of making Guyana the bread basket of the Caribbean and reducing the regional food import bill.
Last year, President Ali had declared that his Government would be pursuing an aggressive campaign to dismantle regional barriers to agricultural trade and that in the next four years, with the assistance of more diversified crops, Guyana would aim to reduce Caricom’s food import bill by 25 per cent.
It was reported last month that member states of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) have collectively achieved a significant 57 per cent of the target set to realise “Vision 25 by 2025”. This announcement was made during the first Caricom Ministerial Task Force (MTF) on Food Production and Food Security meeting for 2023.
A statement from the Agriculture Ministry stated that countries submitted reports detailing their production data for 2022 for targeted commodities, as Caricom moves towards lowering the regional import bill by 25 per cent by the year 2025.
When it comes to climate services, Guyana is only the first country to conclude the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) process of certifying its forest carbon. These serialised credits, listed on ART’s public registry, are available to buyers on the global carbon market, including for use by airlines for compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s global emission reduction programme, CORSIA, as well as for use toward voluntary corporate climate commitments.
Guyana’s completion of the ART process paved the way for other governments that are looking to receive carbon market finance for success in protecting and restoring forests. At the time Guyana was issued with the credits, 14 other countries and large sub-national jurisdictions were working toward their own issuances of TREES credits.
With the country’s increasing clout as an oil and gas producer, there is also Guyana’s advocacy, at various international forums, for increased financing to achieve the Region’s renewable energy target. President Ali has said that a minimum of US$11 billion is needed to achieve just the fundamentals of the target.
Renewables have been touted to break the hefty carbon footprint, but Ali had shared during a conference earlier this year that to secure the energy requirement, the reality is that the Caribbean will need oil and gas resources. The estimated renewable capacity of the Region is 1574 megawatts with a capital requirement of US$11 billion to achieve fundamental targets. (G3)