IEA’s call for no new oil investments not prescriptive, says Guyana’s Vice President

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Even though the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s bombshell report advised that no new investments are needed in fossil fuels if the world is to reach net-zero by 2050, Guyana’s Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo is urging stakeholders to remember that these and other recommendations by the Paris-based body are not prescriptive.

In an interview with OilNOW on the government’s position on the report that was published last week, the Vice President noted that each country has different circumstances and would therefore have to craft its own solutions. The official who has oversight for Guyana’s oil sector said, “Now crafting those solutions and the pace at which to implement them has cost implications for the treasuries of the countries and beneficiaries.”

Recognizing these realities, the IEA also said while the pathway laid out in its Roadmap is global in scope, each country will need to design its own strategy, taking into account its specific circumstances. “There is no one‐size‐fits‐all approach to clean energy transitions,” said Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director.

In Guyana’s case, Dr. Jagdeo was keen to note that the People’s Progressive Party / Civic (PPP) had chartered the path to renewable energy long before many other nations even thought of heading in the same direction. Expounding further, the Vice President reminded that Guyana was one of the very few countries which had launched a Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) back in June 2009. This document he said, had laid out the PPP/C’s plans for decarbonizing the country, but more particularly the energy sector.

He further noted that had the Amaila Falls Hydro Project been realized, it would have decarbonized the energy sector by 92 percent.

“But that project was killed by the former regime. They went to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and pledge to reach 100 percent renewable by 2025 without any project to support that transition…So upon return to office, we resumed the discussion to build Amaila and we have already embarked on a project that will see 30 megawatts of renewable energy in Berbice, Essequibo, and Linden,” the Vice President said.

The former Head of State also noted that the government’s plan to bring associated gas from Liza Phase 1 to shore for the Wales development project is also part of the strategy to transition to cleaner energy sources. While the Vice President acknowledged that associated gas is not renewable, he stressed that it is less polluting than heavy fuel and diesel and is therefore one of the viable routes to be taken for the energy transition.

With the foregoing perspectives in mind, the Vice President is of the firm conviction that the government has mapped out a pathway that is consistent with the overall vision of the IEA’s report, which iterates the need for the world to take several actions to bring the global temperature down to 1.5 Degree Celsius.

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