LCDS strikes balance for sustainable wealth creation – Pres Ali

– says not enough progress being made on net-zero discussions

The Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 was a topic of discussion on Monday, with a former Colombian President even praising the initiative during the Concordia Annual Summit, Plenary Session themed “Underneath the Green Transition: The Oil Industry.”
President Dr Irfaan Ali, who is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), also held discussions on the sidelines that centred on Guyana’s oil-producing future. One of the observations made by the President during his appearance at the plenary session is that enough progress is not being made in discussing reaching net-zero with stakeholders and the developed world.
“The conversation along net-zero has been derailed to the extent that it has now become a conversation on how to end petroleum and not how do we create a balanced set of policies and programmes to achieve net-zero in a sustainable way,” President Ali explained.

President Dr Irfaan Ali (centre) and former Colombian President Ivan Duque appeared as panellists at Concordia’s Annual Summit to discuss “Underneath the Green Transition: The Oil Industry” on Monday

Guyana is already poised to lead the Net Zero by 2050 Agenda, through its robust plans for energy security and renewable generation, while continuously recording increased economic prosperity.
The United Nations Global Roadmap sets out the target that the world must achieve net zero emissions by 2050. It involves balancing the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.
At the annual Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference last year President Ali had shared that energy security remains central to net-zero and that his Government is already undertaking efforts to create an onshore low-carbon economy, that will further cut emissions while maintaining environmental sustainability.

The developing world has had to find creative ways of achieving sustainable development and helping to bridge the divide between the developed and developing world, with Guyana’s LCDS 2030 being one example. According to President Ali on Monday, there are innate disparities between the developed and developing world, which must be bridged.
“Take for example, in the era of modernisation and mechanisation, the developing world was left behind. Because the developing world did not have the capital to mechanise. The developed world went ahead and mechanised. They became more competitive. Now we have digitisation,” the President said.
“Again, widening the gap between the developing world and the developed world. Who is going to finance that gap? When are the developing countries going to get the full opportunity to exploit their resources to ensure they can survive in this highly competitive environment? That is why the balance is required.”
According to President Ali, the LCDS is a holistic approach to finding that balance, in terms of managing the environment, ensuring the livelihood of the people, promoting economic wealth, and creating and bridging inequality. He noted that the strategy ensures that the aspirations of Guyanese are met in a balanced approach.
Guyana’s ability to market its Low Carbon Development Strategy also came in for praise from former Colombian President Ivan Duque, who shared the stage with President Ali. He made it clear that with the volume of initiatives Guyana is trying to achieve, including the energy transition and fulfilling development needs, financing is imperative.
“We need to finance the transition, not only the energy transition, the economic transition, in a sustainable way. As President Ali mentioned, I’m really impressed by his efforts to keep on promoting the Low Carbon Development Strategy by being a zero-deforestation country, having 40 per cent of the land in the hands of Indigenous communities with land titles and trying to change the energy matrix so that they don’t depend on oil to generate electricity.”
“Guyana is also a food security provider for the Caribbean and the Region. Guyana is an energy security provider. And they need these resources to allow for better education, better health, and better infrastructure. So, I think having that balance is possible,” the former Colombian Head of State explained.
Duque served as President of Colombia from 2018 to 2022. For its part, Colombia has been able to develop green financing, increase its protected areas from 14 per cent to 34 per cent, and establish a voluntary carbon market.