The new oil producing South American country of Guyana can use its growing international clout to advocate for regional interest. This is the view of Wazim Mowla, a Guyanese American and assistant director of the Caribbean Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.
“The idea there is because Guyana doesn’t experience hurricanes like the rest of the region. It now has an oil and gas sector, it has an ability to become a regional voice and, with that, become an international voice.,” Mowla said during an interview on local radio programme, Jumpsart, on Friday.
He said resources do not always mean a monetary intervention, but rather, “Guyana can use its growing economic and political clout on an international stage to advocate for Caribbean interests abroad.”
He said addressing the effects of climate change, for example, boils down to securing needed financing at a low cost to build climate-resilient infrastructure and upgrade mitigation efforts, something Guyana and other Caribbean countries have been without for decades.
But even as the threat of climate change worsens and increases, the financial resources needed to adapt to the changing environment is out of the reach for the Caribbean.
“One solution is for countries to use the revenues from their natural resources to provide organic seed capital to finance climate adaptation and mitigation efforts,” he said.
Guyana is set to rake in billions of U.S. dollars in the coming years from oil production activities offshore where ExxonMobil has found more than 10 billon barrels of oil equivalent resources.
Experts have said the government can use some of the proceeds of oil production to tackle climate issues and further the country’s green goals.