Oct 31, 2021 News
United Nations COP 26…
Kaieteur News – Over 150 Guyanese have documented their concerns about climate change in a letter to President Irfaan Ali ahead of Guyana’s participation in the United Nations UN’s Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).
The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) set to begin today, October 31, is the most significant global climate summit since countries gathered in Paris in 2015 to sign an accord to limit global warming to 1.5–2 °C above pre-industrial temperatures.
The 196 governments participating in this year’s summit are expected to formalise a new round of commitments to dial back greenhouse-gas emissions in an effort to limit the extreme weather currently pummeling countries around the globe.
The latest round of global climate talks will take place from October 31 to November 12, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Thousands of government delegates and people from civil society, business and the media will gather to advance climate action. The world will be watching and demanding that national leaders rise to the moment, given the mounting climate crisis and far-reaching consequences for a livable future.
In a release to the press, A Fair Deal for Guyana–A Fair Deal for the Planet (AFDGAFDP)—a campaign movement organised by concerned citizens of Guyana from around the world, explained that the signed letter was forwarded to President Ali ahead of his participation in the world forum.
According to the release from AFDGAFDP, the letter serves to ensure that Guyana takes a strong stand at COP26. “History will record that each and every one of us spoke up at a time when Guyana, and indeed the entire world, was on the brink of climate disaster. We are proud to have stood firm for our country,” the group said in their statement.
The group reminded that Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has described the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report as a ‘Code Red’ for humanity. Guterres had said that: “The evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions are choking our planet and placing billions of people in danger. Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible. We must act decisively now to avert a climate catastrophe.”
Given the grave danger to life on earth, the group stressed that, all states must take urgent action to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. The AFDGAFDP noted in the statement, “The industrialised States have fuelled their economies and created their wealth by burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – which have emitted massive amounts of greenhouse gases and resulted in climate change.”
As such, they said that climate justice requires these industrialised States to undo the harm they have inflicted on the earth. “We demanded that the industrialised countries undo the damage to the earth’s climate system by removing their historic greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.”
As it regards Guyana, the group said that the country remains a carbon sink.
They explained: “Our forests extract more greenhouse gas from the atmosphere than the people of Guyana emit. These forests are making the world safer for all humanity. Our forests have removed greenhouse gas from time immemorial and have made a unique historic contribution to mitigating climate change.”
“These forests,” AFDGAFDP noted, “belong to the State and the State is not the government, the State consists of the people of Guyana.”
“As Guyanese citizens we cherish our country, our forests and one another. We demand that: the people of Guyana are paid for the greenhouse gas that our forests are removing. As the owners of the forests, we demand that the payments are made to the people of Guyana, not to the government. In light of our unique historic contribution to mitigating climate change, we demand payment at the rate of US$80 per ton. We reserve the right to increase our price in the future,” the AFDGAFDP added in the statement.
Further, the group noted that under the State Lands Act and the Amerindian Act 2006, Amerindian communities own land under absolute, unconditional titles.
These Amerindian lands include all of the forests located on those lands held under these Amerindian land titles.
The group therefore demands that payments, which relate to forests on Amerindian lands must be made direct to the Amerindian titleholders and not to the government or any NGO or other person or group. “We wish we could say that hundreds of thousands of you heeded the call and put your names to these demands but unfortunately our numbers are far less than that,” the statement continued.
In this regard, the AFDGAFDP alluded to the words of Finella Martin, a working wife and mother of three, who said, “Our hope is that every Guyanese will join what is a global campaign, to prevent climate disaster, first and foremost for themselves.”
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