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‘We’ll go grey & die waiting on money to fight climate change’ – Jagdeo – News Room Guyana

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during a press conference at the Office of the President (Photo: News Room/August 31, 2023)

Guyana needs money to upgrade and maintain its kokers and canals so that water can be managed better and it can grow more food without suffering the harsh effects of droughts or floods.

Large sums are needed to do that and Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo says Guyana cannot wait on promised international funding so it has found other ways of getting the money it needs.

“Until today, we’ve never been able to achieve recognition for the role that forests play as part of the solution to net zero,” the Vice President lamented at the recently concluded Agri-Investment Forum and Expo.

Forests help to save the planet by trapping harmful greenhouse gases emitted like carbon dioxide. If the trees are cut down, the climate crisis will worsen and disasters like droughts and floods are likely to increase.

Jagdeo says incentives are necessary to help forested countries keep their forests but those haven’t been forthcoming. He also reminded the public that for years, rich, developing countries promised to give funds to vulnerable nations but those funds haven’t been forthcoming, at least not enough.

“We’ll go grey, we’ll die and it will not happen at the scale necessary,” Jagdeo said.

He added, “…we’re not waiting on money from the international community.”

So Guyana has been finding ways of getting the money it needs.  Jagdeo said one way the country is doing that is by gaining certification and recognition for its vast, intact forests. And with that recognition, the country has been able to market carbon credits.

Guyana’s first and only carbon credit deal so far, brokered after the country got special carbon credits issued to it last December, was executed with Hess Corporation, a US oil giant and one of the companies searching for and producing petroleum in the country’s nascent oil and gas sector.

Out of the first payment received earlier this year, the Vice President said some US$120 million has been set aside to construct more kokers, conservancy dams and canals. These will help to “climate-proof” the economy and help make the agricultural sector less vulnerable to disasters like droughts and floods.

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