Home Features It is sheer madness – APNU/AFC wants 100% reduction of fossil fuel...
They have gone absolutely stark, loony crazy, they being the ideas-bereft PNC. APNU/AFC is only a name these days. They now do not mind anyone seeing through the veil – they were always the PNC. In 2015, the David Granger-led APNU/AFC (PNC, really) went to the Conference of Parties (CoP) for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and promised that Guyana would achieve a 100% reduction in the use of fossil fuel to generate energy by 2025. Yes, they did. They placed in black and white, in a written document presented to the UN, that Guyana would generate every kilowatt of energy by 2025 from sources outside of fossil fuel. Guyana was the only country to make that promise for 2025. They made that promise when they also rejected the Amaila Falls hydroelectric plant that was already in place when the PPP demitted office, a plan that was already carefully articulated since the Bharrat Jagdeo-led PPP Government of 2006-2011. Without Amaila, Guyana can barely reduce the use of fossil fuel.
Between 2015 and 2020, the PNC did not reduce the use of fossil fuel by even 1%, but they still insist that it is possible to reduce it by 100% in just three years from now. All Guyana knows this is impossible; you have to be certifiably crazy to think so. It is absolutely looney to think that Guyana can reduce fossil fuel energy by 100% by 2025. The PNC sent a cadre of stark crazy people to a consultation on the CoP 26 positions to argue that Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo alone has already decided that Guyana no longer is committed to 100% reduction in fossil fuel energy by 2025. The VP, in fact, raised the issue of how unrealistic and how impractical the goal of 100% reduction by 2025 was. It was crazy in 2015; it is even crazier now.
Guyana remains committed to 100% reduction in the use of fossil fuel energy. Bharrat Jagdeo and the Irfaan Ali-led PPP Government have reiterated this position. The difference is that they are realistic, thinking people. They know that 100% reduction by 2025 is mad. Because he played a leading role in crafting the Amaila plans before 2011, and remains committed to the PPP Government’s plan to have the Amaila operational in a few years, the VP has said that a 50% reduction is far more pragmatic a position to take. The consultations were intended to discuss, among other positions, how Guyana can adopt a more practical position than the impossible 100% by 2025. He gave an opinion. The consultations will allow Government to adopt its position somewhere below the impossible 100% reduction.
Outside of planning the Amaila Falls hydro project to reduce the use of fossil fuel in Guyana, the 2001-2011 Jagdeo-led PPP Government and the 2011-2015 Ramotar-led PPP Government had also begun an ambitious solar panel programme for communities scattered around the hinterland of Guyana, bringing fossil fuel-free energy to households and businesses dotting every part of Guyana’s hinterland and hard-to-reach communities. That, too, was abandoned by the PNC. The much-touted solar farm project in Mabaruma, Region 1, which APNU/AFC used the Norway Carbon Credit Funds for, is a pasture today. Now the PPP will have to rescue that project. Without hydro, wind and solar energy, far from reducing fossil fuel energy, Guyana will have to expand use of fossil fuel.
The PPP Government has a clear vision on what the energy horizon for Guyana looks like – a combination of hydro, wind, solar and gas.
So devoid of any good ideas, of any reasonable objection to the Irfaan Ali-led PPP Government, the PNC, on a daily basis, turn to their favourite bogeyman. When they feel they need to say something to show they are still around and relevant, with nothing of substance to offer, they berate Bharrat Jagdeo. Their latest tirade is trying to persuade Guyanese that Guyana’s COP 26 position in the climate change agreement is not really Guyana’s, but Bharrat Jagdeo’s personal position. The position that Guyana is putting forward at COP 26, of course, emanates out of years of wide discourse in this country. Guyana has had such positions clearly articulated in the LCDS that the PNC unwisely abandoned in 2015 for something they called the Green Energy. What was that? It was the crazy notion that Guyana would abandon fossil fuel, all of it, by 2025. Let us not forget the other major component of the Green Energy – wearing green clothes wherever they go, painting all Government buildings green, and insisting their supporters paint even their homes green to show their fealty to the maximum leader.
As the PPP revise the old LCDS, the PPP has aggressively adopted its old position – Guyana’s energy in the future must come from non-fossil fuel sources. When the Jagdeo-led and then the Ramotar-led PPP Governments started on the pathway to hydroelectricity, wind and solar energy, and now the Irfaan Ali-led PPP Government has added a new pathway – the gas-to-shore project, the PPP has shown that it is not a blow-blow blow party, but one that has a clear vision and a practical plan. The fact is that it is absolutely stark, loony, certifiably crazy to think it is possible to reduce fossil fuel by 100% by 2025.