Major int’l firms interested as Guyana prepares to sell carbon credits globally: as LCDS consultations get underway in Region 6
Several international firms are expressing interest as Guyana prepares to sell its carbon credits on the world market.
This announcement was made on Wednesday by Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat, who is travelling around the country consulting with stakeholders on the expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy – LCDS 2030.
Guyana seeks to continue having low rates of deforestation, but at the same time, seeks to continue developing and taking advantage of its natural resources. Currently, persons are being given opportunity to have their say, including making objections and recommendations as part of the national consultation process of the LCDS 2030.
With 18.4 million hectares of largely pristine forests storing 5.31 gigatons of carbon, officials estimate that Guyana could earn upwards of US$300m by selling its carbon credits on the global market.
These and other matters were discussed on Wednesday during a national consultation on the expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
What Guyana is seeking through the new LCDS is a continuous flow of carbon finances. Between 2015 and 2019, Guyana had earned US$250m from Norway for its low deforestation rates under the original LCDS. Guyana still has 99.5 percent of its forests intact.
“Guyana is still covered in forests, that is why I say that we are blessed, and all of us here have responsibility to ensure that we keep it that way,” Natural Resource Minister Vickram Bharat told stakeholders at the consultations in New Amsterdam.
Natural Resource Consultant Vanessa Benn, addressing stakeholders at the consultations, pointed out that Guyana has great potential for sale of carbon credits. 87.5 percent of the country is covered with forest. In fact, Guyana is the second most forested country in the world.
What is needed, she explained, is for Guyana to be able to continue to maintain its forests, but the country must be compensated for so doing.
The LCDS 2030 vision has four components, which are: 1) to manage water and other resources properly; 2) adapting to climate change; 3) producing clean energy, and 4) aligning with global climate and biodiversity goals.
In an interview with this publication following the event, which was held in the Board Room of the Regional Democratic Council, Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharat spoke about the value of the country’s carbon credits.
“There are many organisations and companies around the world that have expressed interest in purchasing carbon credits, and what is happening now, especially in the corporate world, is that companies in certain developed countries are being forced to budget for the purchasing of carbon credits as a part of their programme,” Minister Bharrat said, as he pointed out that some of the major oil companies have indicated they would be focusing on renewable energy or would offset carbon emissions in the form of monetary contributions for carbon credits that are on the market.
Guyana has already received positive responses from the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) coalition on its proposal to retail its carbon credits to the world.
Guyana has also signed a letter of intent with Emergent, a US-based non-profit organisation, to market Guyana’s carbon credits, which will be sold to private international companies.
“After the consultations which are taking place now on LCDS 2013, and then the final document will be formulated and then we will go on the market for the sale of carbon credits,” Minister Bharrat explained. (Andrew Carmichael)