By Sauchel Giles
Vice President (VP) Bharrat Jagdeo during a press conference on Monday dismissed claims by Former President David Granger which stated that “most Guyanese only became aware of what is likely to be a national presentation to Glasgow, Scotland on October 28 via national broadcast.”
Last week, Granger, during his Public Interest television programme expressed dismay at the Government’s decision to wait until last Thursday to publicise aspects of its intended presentation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) taking place in Scotland.
Granger said that this gave the public little time to comprehend the proposals and to recommend changes to the strategy before COP26 takes place. President Irfaan Ali is currently in Scotland attending the conference. But Jagdeo has made it clear that the extended Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) that was launched last week for consultation will not be presented at COP26.
“He (Granger) had the mistaken impression that our Low Carbon Development Strategy would be presented at Glasgow and that’s far from the truth. In fact, there is no room by any country to present their national strategy in Glasgow,” said Jagdeo as he addressed the media conference.
Jagdeo said he has heard similar comments about the LCDS being presented to Glasgow by members of civil society, but he assured that there will be a four-month period for comments on the LCDS.
“I’ve seen similar comments echoed by members of civil society. I want to assure these individuals as well as the former President that he shall have four months to comment on the [LCDS], to share all their technical views, their popular views, or any other views for that matter and they would be taken into consideration when we finalise the document sometime in March of next year.”
The Vice President said that he hopes persons will utilise this opportunity to make inputs on the LCDS. He reminded that the reason the LCDS is currently under revision is because of the former Coalition Government’s commitment under the Paris Agreement where it pledged to have 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025.
Jagdeo, however, described this pledge as “unrealistic” saying no other country has made such a pledge. The Vice President pointed out, “Every sane Guyanese and we’re all I believe sane people would understand that if you make a pledge, then you have to fulfill it or put in place… the projects to accomplish that pledge. So, they (former Coalition administration) pledged 100 per cent renewable by 2025, no country in the world, not a single country has made such a pledge, not a single country has pledged not even 50 per cent of renewable by 2025, no country is achieving that.”
He went on to say, “Cleary, Mr. Granger talks about consultations and some of his minions have been saying the same thing too. But what consultations did they have in 2016 when they made such an unrealistic pledge on behalf of Guyana?”
The Vice President said the Government has to revise the COP25 pledge downward. He emphasised “no country in the world has achieved 100 pe rcent renewable energy and (Guyana) can’t do it.”
According to Jagdeo, Guyana will achieve 50 per cent reduction in emissions from the energy sector. He noted that by 2027-2028, the country will probably reach about 70 per cent reduction in emissions from the energy sector and that would be one of the leading indicators.
“In fact, we’ll be foremost in the world if we achieve those numbers and we intend to achieve them because we already have the projects, either being outwarded or under implementation.”