Climate change aid bitter-sweet for Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, July 30, 2008 – Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo is pleased that Guyana is among 14 developing countries recently selected as the first to receive money for combating tropical deforestation and climate change from an initial US$82 million partnership, but he’s not so happy with the mechanism through which these payments will be effected.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country will receive the funding from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) which is aimed at reducing deforestation and forest degradation by compensating developing countries for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

However, President Jagdeo said that “the mechanism through which they effected those payments is a limited one”.

“I’m arguing that it should change. It’s a clean development mechanism and I’m arguing that this should be changed to a market-based mechanism especially to trade carbon and carbon dioxide from forest, that is, sequestered through tropical rainforests,” he said.

He pointed out that the forests store much carbon and as such, the carbon in these forests need to be given credits and the credits traded in the markets similar to the system which obtains in Europe. 

“Europe now, through an emissions trading scheme has been trading credits to the value of $33 billion. We feel that we can generate a significant amount of money for developing countries like ours if we were to have a market-based mechanism trading these credits,” the president added.
He argued that the forests produce the same type of service to the rest of the world and he did not understand why they should be treated any differently.

The Guyana government has been continuing to put measures in place to ensure sustainable forestry management over the years and this has resulted in the country’s rainforest still being fully intact. President Jagdeo has been advocating for the country to be compensated for this, since developed countries have been contributing mostly to pollution through carbon emissions while developing countries have faced the brunt of global warming and climate change.