Guyana’s high exposure to climate change poses severe risks to small and medium enterprises in key sectors, such as tourism and agriculture, says the Finance Minister, Winston Jordan.
These effects he said, can affect businesses by contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
GDP is the best way to measure a country’s economy. GDP is the total value of everything produced by all the people and companies in the country.
The Minister was at the time addressing the 35th Annual Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC), which came to an end on Saturday.
Jordan said that notwithstanding the important role of the government in the adaptation and mitigation process, certified accountants have the opportunity to provide assistance to their clients in identifying their vulnerabilities to these changes and help them to build business resilience and competitiveness.
“This is especially important in Guyana, since many of the small and medium businesses are susceptible to climate change, which can impact their contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
Research shows that unmitigated climate change is likely to reduce the income of an average person on Earth by roughly 23 percent in 2100. This was according to estimates contained in research published in the journal “Nature” which is co-authored by two University of California, Berkeley professors.
The findings indicate climate change will widen global inequality, perhaps dramatically, because warming is good for cold countries, which tend to be richer, and more harmful for hot countries, which tend to be poorer. In the researchers’ bench mark estimate, climate change will reduce average income in the poorest 40 percent of countries by 75 percent in 2100, while the richest 20 percent may experience slight gains.
Meanwhile, with the US President Donald Trump making known his administration’s intention to leave the Paris Climate Change pact, several countries are driven to uncertainty. The US is a massive financial contributor to pacts of this nature.
The Paris Agreement is an accord within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.
The agreement was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC Paris, and was adopted by consensus on December 12, 2015.
However, there have been positive developments on this front. The European Union (EU) has stated that bloc will not only implement the Paris Agreement, but are building strong global alliances to make sure that it will be implemented, even after Trump’s decision to step back.
Several US public figures and entities have also promised to chip in.
Meanwhile, Guyana has signalled its intention to press on and honour its commitment to the Paris deal. Government’s decision to do so was prompted by the flooding and other adverse effects of climate change that has plagued these shores in the past.
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