Jul 05, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – Amid the global push towards renewable energy, Suriname is determined not to be left behind and its President, Chandrikapersad Santokhi last week stated that they will use the proceeds from their oil resources to fund the transition to renewables.
The Surinamese President made the remarks during his feature address at the opening ceremony of the Suriname Oil and Gas Energy Conference (SOGEC) which was held in Paramaribo, Suriname.
Santokhi underscored the role energy plays in all aspects of life and noted that while it can be a tool to create a peaceful and sustainable economy, he sees energy as a resource that will fuel and lubricate societies to higher achievements.
To this end, he added that he also perceives energy as a fuel to transition into a green economy. According to the Surinamese President, prior to the energy conference, he had announced the commencement of the solar power project, which will see the upgrade and expansion of Suriname’s electricity system. The President then explained that exploitation of oil and gas in Suriname will be conducted in an environmentally friendly manner based on the international principles and standards.
“Furthermore, the income of oil and gas will be used to develop the transition into renewables and green energy,” he added. President Santokhi noted that Suriname is committed to transition into a green economy by utilising the revenues from oil and gas industry. He explained that oil and gas cannot be an end in themselves, and it should be seen as a means to achieve higher goals for creating stable, prosperous and peaceful societies. “For this, the short-term benefit must come from long-term strategic boost and to end defining this future path, we must be both and ambitious. We must demonstrate trust in our capabilities,” the president added.
Moreover, President Santokhi noted that the oil and gas strategy of Suriname will be a part of its vision 2060 strategy. He then explained that soon he will commission the national commission vision 2060 which will develop a road map outlining where the country wants to be in 40 years and how it can be achieved.
In making other comments, the president highlighted that the countries must manage the new found oil and gas discoveries well and effectively to steer their economies to the next level of development.
President Santokhi further stated that while his country is committed to the goals adopted at the 2021 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference – his government have an obligation to the people to provide for a prosperous life which requires utilising all of their natural resources. “This balancing act between economic development and environmental protection is a difficult one, one where the developed and rich countries did not need to make,” he added.
Moreover, the President highlighted that Suriname has 15.3 million hectares of forest covering approximately 94% of the country’s surface area. He stated too that while Suriname function as a sink for carbon emissions and provide oxygen at no cost to the world, the people are not being compensated for their efforts and sacrifices to preserve the natural habitat. Kaieteur News had reported that the President said too “Our natural ecosystem including oil and gas is God-given so it cannot be claimed or owned by any government or any political party; it belongs to the people of the nation and they should benefit from the wealth that is being generated.”
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