Nov 14, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Time to take stock now that Glasgow’s COP26 is over. We hate to throw a wet blanket on celebrations, but this Climate Change summit could have done better. Already, hawk-like environmentalists say what was achieved is not enough, and poor countries battered by decades of climate change effects are demanding “compensation from the big polluters” (New York Times, November 12). Echoing this was the Wall Street Journal: “As talks dragged on, Friday night in Glasgow, one of the main sticking issues was a demand from developing countries to be compensated for…loss and damage.” It didn’t look to be the degree (amounts) desired.
The contentiousness ran deep, with many voices lifted up. There was definite anger at the inequities created (for Third World societies), games that still persist (global oil powers, governments), and the solutions that fall short (too little taking too long). Poorer countries have long lived with the excesses of American and European multinationals operating globally. Still, they are asked to be patient, while financial gradualism takes hold, with crumbs being the substance. Powerful countries benefiting abundantly from the reach and profits of their oil companies are not aggressive with them; or listen to poorer countries’ woes.
Guyana a new oil club member has vocalised its priority to maximise oil benefits, contribute to the vital global oil supply chain, and double down on the carbon absorbing power of its massive forests. At COP26, Guyanese leaders indicated lukewarm support for any drilling/production restraint by this country. It sails forth briskly. Leaders of the advanced countries (United States, UK, and others) were sensitive to the change in political and institutional temperature on Climate Change, and the victim(s) of its devastating impacts, but danced around their obligations to give up more.
Separately, oil powers manoeuvered around the rising tide. They massaged their public language, did not use harsh words like ‘fake science’ or ‘hoax’ anymore, when trying to protect their rich turf. Guyana meanwhile, in partnership with Exxon, is racing ahead with exploration and production, since even then it has its vast carbon sink forests to hold up as both its fallback option and justification for actions. It is in the driver’s seat, from which astute political and business management could yield mouthwatering returns to the local treasury and population. If we make the right moves in the right direction, the right results will follow. Our leaders must cut through the thicket of chatter, hold their head, and skillfully navigate an environment that still demands oil, but now prioritise climate change fears (and associated actions). Unlike many producers, we have virgin forests which is a carbon sponge.
On another note, there was pushback against naming fossil fuels as a huge contributor to Climate Change destructions but this can no longer be denied. Citizens here were eyewitnesses to what Guyana’s own President declared to be a national disaster. We are hoping that we are on the right track in thinking that the flooding of 2021 was a one-off event, and that leaders of this society can focus on doing right with this oil wealth of ours.
The reality is that Guyana itself is caught in a world of fast developing realities. On the one hand, it is the new owner of enormous amounts of oil, and the prosperities that that can bring to these shores, once overseen ethically by political stewards. And, on the other, there is having to deal with this clashing reality that says go more slowly with production, leave new fossil fuel projects alone, and align smartly with the strengthening of global oil programme. It is one in which oil is no longer the darling that it was, but still a commanding energy presence, despite taking hard blows from powerful places and people.
The UN leader keeps speaking with sharp urgency. Advanced countries (and lesser ones, like China and India), and the oil majors have their own priorities, with Guyana caught in the middle. Such were the hard differences at COP26, with some limited compromises finalised. For Guyana, there should be learning: work for the right balance with projects, products, and related production. Our leaders have the world at their feet, and strong cards in their hands. They play them well, Guyana does very well.
Dec 07, 2021Kaieteur News – The management of Tony’s Jewellery Establishment of 1st Street Alexander Village has decided to post an expensive reward for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the male...
Dec 07, 2021
Dec 07, 2021
Dec 07, 2021
Dec 07, 2021
Dec 07, 2021
Kaieteur News – Here are the words of Rickford Burke in reaction to police bulletins for him over calls to use violence... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]