One of the things that make them successful as a party and Government is the fact that the PPP/C have a workforce that is well qualified, well equipped, is brimming with ideas, and are willing and able to move this country forward.
Team PPP/C is a driving force of development and progressive thinkers, always coming up with plans and projections for the futuristic good of this nation; and for this, the people of this country have given them the mandate. It is a sacred trust given to the party, which they cannot – and I repeat: they cannot – deceive the people. No one can deny this fact: that, in nine short months, so much has been done in this country that the 5 years 5 months of the PNC pales into oblivion.
So, no amount of pining by the Opposition would help their cause.
But I am not here to run a comparison between the two political parties; because, quite frankly, there is none. So I shall forge ahead with what I want to discuss today. Our discussion again centres around the use of our forests and the Norway Fund.
Now, you would recognise that the world is in a quandary as we grapple with the crisis situation of global warming. Along with this fact, we are looking for a suitable solution to the crisis. One of the ways to solve it is the use of our forests to arrest the suffocating influence of carbon emissions. To this end, there is renewed interest in areas of large tracts of forest, where the trees would act as carbon sinks for the escalating carbon emission.
The Amazon Region, of which Guyana is a part, has large tracts of pristine forest which can be utilised for such purposes; hence this country became the focal point of the Norwegians. Norway thereby set up a fund with a healthy monetary sum to go with such a programme.
In exchange for the preservation of a carbon sink here, the Government of Guyana under Jagdeo placed a million acres of our forest for the said purpose. In addition to that, he came up with the superb plan of the Amaila HEP Project, which is another area in which we can generate clean energy and save our planet. This was readily accepted by the world at large, who later conferred on Jagdeo the title of Champion of the Earth and an honorary doctorate degree.
So, in short, Guyana became the recipient of some US$230M for its forests and a world class hydroelectric programme.
But the incoming PNC Administration of 2015 had other plans, as they discredited and discarded the Amaila Falls HEP. Theirs was the misconceived idea that the Norway Fund was just a blank cheque into which they could delve without keeping the accompanying hydro project. That was not going to happen. So, when they realised that they were not going to be able to tap into the fund without the requisite clean energy hydro programme, they redoubled their efforts by making an even more gratuitous proposal, by giving up more of our forest, this time putting up another 1 million acres for carbon emission purposes.
But even this did not catch the attention of the Norwegians, as they in turn saw a Government who were unsure and unsound in their approach, totally out of sync with the real issues of low carbon emission. In this regard, Norway held fast to its fund, and an entire nation suffered as a result of the backward thinking of the PNC.
One can clearly see the Granger Government was only interested in the monetary gains to be had from Norway, and not on any real futuristic plans for sustainable growth and development. This is the real cause for their downfall, and for which cause the PPP/C are light years ahead of them.
Truly, the PNC are their own destruction. You cannot so wantonly put aside a world-renowned major project and expect a progressive world to agree with you. No, that is not going to happen.
Here we are in 2021, with a new Government with progressive ideas. We are back on sure ground as we get into the implementation stage of the Amaila Falls HEP as well as the fulfillment of the long-term Low Carbon Strategy. I am sure of our plans, and sure of where we are headed. We will get all our plans accomplished as this country moves forward in a progressive mode.