Guyana pledges to achieve 70% emissions reduction by 2027 in revised NDCs

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Guyana’s Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo announced on Monday that Guyana’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) has been revised to take on a more realistic ambition. Instead of the previously stated goal to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, Guyana will instead seek to cut emissions by 70 percent in a six-year period using a mix of hydro, solar and gas-powered projects.

The Vice President made this disclosure during his presentation at the national stakeholder consultation aimed at updating Guyana’s NDCs to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ahead of the convening of the United Nations (UN) COP26 summit.

Under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, countries are required to prepare and submit NDCs outlining their commitments to take action to address climate change. As for NDCs, they are required to be updated every five years. Since Guyana’s first submission was made in 2016, a revision is now due.

Monday’s forum was attended by a wide range of stakeholders from civil society, Amerindian organisations, conservation organisations, the private sector, and government ministries and agencies who provided perspectives on climate change, Guyana’s efforts, and the NDC.

During the interactive session Dr. Jagdeo said, “So we had, of all the changes and pledges that were made, one major pledge that there is no possibility of fulfilling. It was a stated intention, a goal, a sound bite but no planning or project to achieve it and that was to have 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.”

The Vice President was keen to note that this pledge left the country and the government when it entered office, in a precarious position.

“Everyone around the world has been talking about raising their ambition. But how do we raise from the 100 percent pledge for which there was no plan or project in place? In fact, this proposal that we have here would be lowering our ambition and we wanted to avoid that,” expressed Dr. Jagdeo.

But after much debate, the Vice President said the decision was taken to revise the ambition.

Dr. Jagdeo disclosed that the government’s roadmap on energy will see its proposed US$900M gas-to-energy project coming on stream by 2024-2025 and will cut emissions by 50 percent. As for the solar and hydro power projects in the pipeline, he said these will ensure the achievement of 70 percent emissions reduction by 2027 while adding that they would all bring approximately 500MW of new power into the system.

The Vice President said the government is of the view that this is a more realistic approach. He noted that no other changes have been made on the issue of adaptation of the NDCs “because we know what we have to do on that front, we have to prevent our seas from coming in and flooding us, manage the water so we don’t get flooded out from excess rainfall and we have to tackle drought in the hinterland area.” He said those three key issues would cost about $1.6B to address.

It should be noted that Monday’s engagement is one step in the process being undertaken by the Office of the President (OP) to revise the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. A statement from OP has since noted that the focus of future engagements will remain on key actions on adaptation to climate change and mitigation efforts, with particular emphasis on Guyana’s energy sector and forests.

OilNOW understands that a draft of the revised NDC will be put forward in the public domain for stakeholder review and inputs ahead of the UNFCCC, Climate Change Conference (COP26) scheduled from October 31 to November 12, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland.

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