Net Zero by 2050 Agenda: Guyana will remain carbon negative despite expansion of oil & gas activities – Bharrat

Guyana is 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 and involves balancing the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.
More than 80 per cent of Guyana’s 18 million hectares of forests are estimated to store approximately 20 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
According to Natural Resource Minister Vickram Bharrat, Government is still exploring all avenues to cut emissions despite being a net carbon sink.

Natural Resource Minister, Vickram Bharrat addressing gathering at Plant Town Hall Forum

The minister, who was at the time speaking at a Press Conference for the Plant Town Hall Forum at the Pegasus Cooperate Suites in commemoration of World Press Day 2024, posited that other countries should not be asking how they can achieve net zero by 2050 but whether they can afford not to.
Small and low-lying coastal states, he added, are the least contributors to rising temperatures. Yet, they face the brunt of adverse effects from climate change, varying from floods, rising sea levels, drought and extreme weather events. Net zero, he added, would only be possible if the global system rectifies its inherent disparities and unevenness.
“We are going to strike a balance; we are going to ensure that we explore and produce our natural resources and at the same time we prioritise the environment. Some people may say it’s impossible but look at Guyana model because it is possible,” Minister Bharrat told the gathering.

Oil exploration
With six oil projects lined up to operate simultaneously by 2027, Guyana’s oil production trajectory is well on the way to exceeding 1.3 million barrels per day. The Guyana government believes the country can keep its long-standing environmental credentials, and according to Natural Resource Minister Vickram Bharrat, “we will remain carbon negative even when we are producing 1.5 million barrels per day.”
The idea is that all the carbon emissions generated from offshore petroleum operations and onshore industrial operations would not be higher than the volume of carbon captured and stored by Guyana’s green lungs.
“With our partners and with our revenue coming in through the sale of carbon credit, we’re in a better position than any other country to deal with mitigation and mostly adaptation…We are playing our part even though we are one of the newest oil producing countries in the world and we are still ensuring that we live up to our responsibilities of transitioning to renewable,” the Minister added.

Carbon credit sales
Guyana has been able to develop forest-based carbon credits for sale internationally, which is certified by Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) and are among the most robust in the world.
Guyana is advocating for greater global recognition for the role played by highly forested countries in the journey to net zero, through the regularisation of markets for the sale of credits.
Following the announcement of the certification of some of Guyana’s credits by ART, Hess Corporation has committed to purchasing 12.5 million credits for the years 2016-2030, in a deal valued at least US$750 million. With payments already kicked off more than a year ago for 2021-2025 credits, Guyana is dedicating the funds to low-carbon projects and climate adaptation and mitigation measures.
In fact, Guyana received its first tranche of carbon credit monies, totalling US$75 million in 2023, of which US$22 million was directly invested in Amerindian villages, whom developed some 811 projects, which are being implemented in 242 indigenous villages.
Moreover, Guyana has already earned US$37.5 million for the sale of high-quality carbon credits for 2024, from the multi-year agreement with United States energy-major Hess Corporation.
A carbon credit is a tradable permit or certificate that allows the holder of the credit the right to emit a stated tonnage of carbon dioxide or an equivalent of another greenhouse gas. Countries and companies that exceed their permitted limits can purchase carbon credits from nations that have low emissions such as Guyana.
It is estimated that if Guyana is able to secure the same value as it did with Hess, the country could raise some US$2.5 billion. (G1)