Dec 08, 2017 News
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon used the opportunity presented in the delivery of his
contribution to the ongoing Budget debate to inform the nation of the status of a huge chunk of money that Guyana was supposed to receive from Norway.
The Minister said that the Government of Guyana is still toiling to justify the release of US$80M from Norway. That money was originally intended for hydropower development.
Norway has not committed to the release of US$80 million which the previous PPP/C government had intended to use for the Amaila Falls Hydro project.
Upon the assuming Office in 2015, the coalition government announced that it was going to reassess the feasibility of proceeding with the Amaila project. Guyana and Norway then agreed to a reassessment study to be done by Norconsult AS of Norway. Based on the findings, government then decided to shelve building the dam at Amaila.
In an effort not to lose the US$80 million, the government has been negotiating with Norway.
Harmon said that the government has been trying its best to meet the demands of Norway. He revealed that Norway had requested copies of the Green State Development Strategy and Guyana’s Energy Transition Roadmap. Both were provided. Harmon noted, “These are additional to what governs the Guyana-Norway partnership.
Further, Government has advanced the work on all aspects of the joint concept notes, “some examples being the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), the European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (EU-FLEGT) and the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).
Harmon said that Guyana even committed to move completely to renewable energy by 2025. However, Norway apparently had an issue with natural gas being under the classification of renewable energy.
Harmon said that Guyana sent a letter to Norway’s Minister of Environment on Wednesday, requesting consideration of a meeting of the Environment Ministers at the earliest time convenient.
The US$80M that Government is trying to secure is a part of a US$250M that was agreed to be given to Guyana through a bilateral partnership on climate and forest.
Guyana and Norway’s partnership on climate and forest was initiated in 2009. Guyana had at that time already defined a national low carbon development strategy that outlined how the country could meet its ambitious targets for economic and social development, while keeping deforestation at a minimum, and transforming its entire energy sector to clean and renewable energy.
Guyana is a High Forest Low Deforestation (HFLD) rate country. The Norway-Guyana partnership demonstrates how HFLD countries like Guyana can be incentivized to keep their deforestation low, and using the proceeds to establish a completely clean and renewable energy sector as well as a broader green economy.
Norway had committed to contribute up to US$250M to Guyana if the country keeps its deforestation rate low and reaches key forest governance targets. So far, Norway has disbursed about US$150M, rewarding Guyana’s achieved results.
US$80M has been set aside in an account with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to cover Guyana’s equity share in the Amaila Falls Hydropower project.
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