The South American county of Guyana is being urged to use its oil revenue to further green initiatives as the region and world continue to face a growing climate change emergency.
British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn, is of the firm view that the country can monetize its oil and still achieve its climate change goals.
Speaking on this issue during an interview on local radio show, Guyana’s Oil and You, Quinn revealed that the UK is scheduled to chair the next conference on climate change. The envoy said that the event which was pushed back to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic will see discussions on this very subject matter. In fact, Quinn shared that the UK will be talking to the government here about addressing what is a clear climate change emergency.
Further to this, the High Commissioner said, “Some people may say, ‘How can you rationalize the climate change emergency with the fact that you are now going to be taking out this oil? Well the reality is that you can actually balance it, and you can actually use what you are getting from that oil and gas to turn yourself into a country which is more carbon positive.” To achieve this, he said that countries can use the money earned from oil to close down heavy fuel oil generators in the short term and use the gas that is associated with the oil to move to a greener form of power generation.
He said that based on his observations, there is a clear desire here to have 100% renewable energy but stressed that it is a job that cannot be done overnight. He said too that the transition will also carry a high cost.
In this regard the official said, “So the oil provides the funding to help the country move down along the road to that full, renewable generation- therefore making it greener than it is now and therefore helping to address the climate change emergency. But let’s be honest here; we’re not going to stop, and we can’t stop using oil overnight. This is the reality.”
The High Commissioner added that the world cannot survive without oil, hence his position that a graduated approach will have to be taken in transitioning from oil to cleaner sources of energy.