Guyana demonstrates it’s possible to use fossil fuels responsibly and protect the environment – Blinken

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighted Guyana’s remarkable achievements in responsibly utilising fossil fuels while prioritising environmental protection. He emphasized that the country’s efforts serve as an example for others.

Blinken stated, “Now, Guyana will soon be the highest oil-producing country per capita in the world. But it’s also a leader in forest conservation, demonstrating that it’s possible to prioritise climate mitigation and environmental protection while responsibly using fossil fuel resources.”

Guyana is expected to be producing more than 1.2 million barrels of crude per day by 2027, from the ExxonMobil-operated Stabroek Block. It also conserves large swathes of forest and has a pipeline of renewable energy projects underway. 

Acknowledging Guyana’s vast forest coverage, which spans 86% of its land territory, Blinken highlighted its significance as a natural carbon sink. He praised the government for finalising a historic deal to sell internationally certified carbon credits worth at least US$750 million to Hess Corporation. He noted that at least 15% of these funds would be set aside for the country’s indigenous communities.

Blinken expressed confidence in the collaboration between the United States and Guyana in advancing environmentally-friendly energy initiatives. He stated, “Our own Export-Import Bank is working closely with the Guyanese government on a major Gas-to-Energy project that’s going to cut emissions by 50%.” He further emphasized that American companies bring invaluable expertise, high environmental standards, and transparency to support Guyana’s dynamic growth and promote regional energy security. Guyana has hired a US group to build and install an integrated gas processing facility as part of the Gas-to-Energy project.

Blinken made these comments during a press engagement with Guyana President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali after meetings between the two countries’ teams. Blinken said energy security and climate change were front and centre in the discussions. 

The US Secretary of State visited Guyana after participating in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government meeting and the 50th Anniversary of CARICOM celebration in Trinidad and Tobago. With growing power and influence on the international stage, Guyana is working with CARICOM to advance several regional concerns, including addressing a breakdown in the rule of law in Haiti.

Blinken commended Guyana for increasing its standing, after recently securing seats on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the United Nations Security Council. Guyana’s position on the latter will see it closely working with the US to address instability in Haiti. 

This visit to Guyana is the second by a sitting US Secretary of State, after Mike Pompeo in 2020. 

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