Home > Local News > President explains how forest countries can capitalise on climate change

President explains how forest countries can capitalise on climate change

President Bharrat Jagdeo

GEORGETOWN (GINA) — Guyana could earn as much as US$400 million per annum from the sale of forest carbon provided that the carbon markets go in a favourable direction according to President Bharrat Jagdeo.

Speaking at the recent international conference on ‘Low Carbon Development and Community Planning’, at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC), President Jagdeo said such rewards are greater than the earnings from major revenue generating sectors such as rice, bauxite, sugar, gold and diamonds.

He said if a binding agreement at the international level is reached on deep emission cuts, the prices for carbon will increase and will thus result in a greater assessment of the stock of greenhouse gases from the country’s forest resources.

“It is the best thing that could happen to forested countries,” Jagdeo said.

Despite the disappointing outcome of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen President Jagdeo reiterated the importance of a binding agreement on deep emission cuts.

Scientists at the Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have attributed man made actions to the warming of the earth’s temperature and have concluded that further temperature increases could result in the worst extremes of climate change.

The challenge is therefore to reduce the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere such as methane and carbon dioxide which are emitted by the use of fossil fuels to generate power and energy for transportation.

Today’s biggest polluters, who Jagdeo said felt that small grants was the solution to global forest preservation, have a greater obligation to cap emission rates since the Kyoto protocol does not require the same from developing countries.

In this regard, President Jagdeo said the development of oil and gas industries is not inconsistent with the promotion of a low carbon economy since, fossil fuel will have to pay for the externalities that they create at some point in time.

Fossil fuels, energy consumption and transportation and deforestation have been identified as among the key sources of greenhouse gas emissions and in Guyana efforts have been made to address alternatives.

Jagdeo made reference to the 30 megawatts of power that is generated from the burning of bagasse, the plan to construct a hydropower plant, the production of biofuel use and the Guyana Norway forest partnership as steps in the right direction.

Although Guyana’s per-capita carbon dioxide emissions is a mere two tonnes compared to about 20 tonnes in the United States of America, the country has not been spared from the atmospheric consequences of greenhouse gas emissions.

McKinsey and Company’s assessments in Guyana have concluded that climate change adaptation interventions in just five regions of the country amount to at least $1 billion.

Jagdeo said that if assistance is not provided to support this intervention cost the end result will be a huge loss in welfare as funds will have to be diverted from education, health and most of the priority social sector

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