Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali addressed the United Nations Climate Change Summit this morning in Scotland and called out the developed countries that have not honoured their pledge of US$100 Billion to support action that would mitigate the effects of climate change and address many of the issues related to climate change.
“Dishonoured pledges are a recipe for disaster”, the President told the COP26 Meeting as he reminded other world leaders of the importance of fighting the climate crisis.
“Forests constitute a powerful arsenal in the fight against climate change. Forest-rich countries must be provided with the incentives necessary to keep their forests intact and to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. Mindful that deforestation contributes 16% to annual global emissions and in recognition of the ecosystem and climate services provided by forests, it is imperative that we finalise the rules for carbon markets and REDD+ so as to properly value tropical forests and the climate services which they provide”, President Ali said.
The President spoke about the efforts of Guyana over the years to do its part to address the challenges and effects of climate change. He said Guyana will continue to do its part.
According to President Ali, “We will maintain our forests – almost the size of England and Scotland combined, storing 20 Gigatons of carbon – as a global asset. We will work with local communities in conserving, protecting and sustainably managing our forests, biodiversity and freshwater supplies. We will decouple economic growth and emissions through a progressively cleaner energy mix, with the aim of reducing our carbon emissions by 70% by 2030. We will invest in low carbon opportunities for jobs, ecosystem services and social inclusion through an expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy”.
Guyana is supporting the position of CARICOM and other regional organisations at the Climate Change meeting. Regional governments are calling for the more developed countries to do more to protect smaller and vulnerable countries from the effects of climate change. Many countries in the Caribbean have already been facing some of the issues.
“We are at a historic moment in our civilization. History must not judge us as having only counted our losses. It must instead herald our efforts to confront one of our Planet’s greatest threats – climate change. In this regard, Guyana is prepared to work with international community for collective action. We support the position of Caricom and are aligned with the Alliance for Small Island States (AOSIS), the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States [CELAC], the Leticia Pact, the DHAKA-Glasgow Declaration and the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use, among others”.
The President noted that although Guyana recently became an oil-producing nation, the country supports the removal of subsidies from fossil fuel production and advocates for a strong global carbon price.
Mr. Ali told the world leaders that the fate of civilization resides in the decisions that are made at the ongoing conference, noting that the climate crisis has issued an ultimatum and its either leaders take immediate and drastic action or allow themselves to be subjected to a global disaster.
While at the global conference, the President has also been meeting with other world leaders and global leaders on climate change.