Senior US Govt energy official to visit Guyana next week
A senior United States Government official is slated to visit Guyana as part of efforts to promote regional energy security and advance the clean energy transition in the Caribbean.
Assistant Secretary at the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR), Geoffrey R Pyatt will travel to Georgetown, Guyana, and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, between May 8 and 10.
In a notice from the State Department, it was explained that “The Assistant Secretary will promote regional energy security and advance the clean energy transition in the Caribbean, key goals of the US-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030).”
While in Georgetown, Assistant Secretary Pyatt will meet with Guyanese Government officials, business leaders, and American companies to discuss bilateral cooperation on the full range of energy issues.
Similarly, during his visit to Port of Spain, he will meet with Government officials and energy stakeholders to identify and expand on areas of cooperation for clean energy. Assistant Secretary Pyatt also will participate in a Women in Energy Roundtable to highlight the contributions of women to the energy industry in Trinidad and Tobago.
In June 2022 at the Summit of the Americas, US Vice President Kamala Harris launched PACC 2030 and the United States has been working with Caribbean nations to develop wide-ranging, long-term energy security and climate resilience solutions.
Since then, VP Harris has met with six Caribbean Heads of State, including President Dr Irfaan Ali to build on the United States partnership with Caribbean Governments in defence of shared values, and to improve Caribbean resilience in all aspects – economic, security, and democracy.
During a follow-up meeting in September 2022, President Ali and several Caricom leaders met VP Harris in Washington to further discuss the commitments they made at the Summit of the Americas to partner with the Region to promote energy security, access to finance, and food security in the Caribbean – three areas that the leaders identified as their top priorities.
President Ali is the lead on agriculture and food security in the Caricom quasi-Cabinet. He is also co-chairing the US-Caricom-Dominican Republic Sub-Committee on Food Security and Agriculture – one of three committees established during the 2022 Summit.
Consequently, the Guyanese leader used the opportunity last September to lobby the United States Government for some US$25 million in assistance to further push the food security and agriculture agenda in the Caribbean especially among specific groups such as women and youths.
“I put forward a proposal to have a further US$25 million made available through grants and low-cost loans for women and youth in agriculture, especially for projects dealing with sustainability, technology and research like hydroponics. These are projects that will ensure resilience in the food production system, encourage young people and women to participate,” Ali had stated.
This request is in addition to US$28 million that the United States Government already injected for short-term activities aimed at supporting an increase in food production and further improving agriculture in a Region. This assistance is one of the pledges made by the US under the new “Zero Hunger Caribbean Plan” to address the Region’s urgent food security needs. Other interventions include mobilisation of experts to explore biofertiliser production as well as developing operational logistics and supply chain model to streamline intraregional trade, among others.
With regards to energy security, talks had surrounded an integrated energy plan in which the Caricom leaders proposed a joint approach to ensure regional sustainability in the energy mix and energy framework that includes natural gas, fossil fuel, and renewables.
Back in March, VP Harris’s Special Advisor for the Western Hemisphere, Joseph Salazar, and Deputy Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs – Office of Caribbean Affairs, Michael Taylor, were in Guyana to meet with stakeholders here.
During an engagement with a high-level Cabinet team, led by President Ali, discussions were held on food, energy and climate security and Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy. The talks also focused on the Ali-led Government’s commitment to democracy and strengthening bilateral relations between Guyana and the US. (G8)