Georgetown, Guyana – (May 23, 2019) The Government of Guyana in partnership with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), launched the “Enhancing Guyana’s Access to Green Climate Fund to Transition to Renewable Energy” project aimed at increasing the uptake of renewable energy as the country advances towards a ‘green’ state. The project was launched on Thursday at the Guyana Marriott Hotel. The event saw participation from stakeholders such as the Office of Climate Guyana, the Guyana Energy Agency, the Guyana Power and Light among others.
The Government of Guyana and the GGGI have been in partnership since 2017, to advance the use of renewable energy here. The Government, through the Department of the Environment, the local focal point for the GGGI, agreed that a programme of activities be developed through which GGGI would provide support to Guyana. GGGI has been working with Guyana since then to scale up renewable energy.
Director of the Department of Environment, Ms. Ndibi Schwiers, in her address said, the project complements one of the important development objectives of Guyana’s newest development strategy – the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040.
“It specifically treats with transition to renewable energy where, as a country, we have committed to transition to the use of near 100 per cent renewable energy and clean sources of energy by 2040,” the Director said, adding that the “GSDS specifically targets renewable energy for electricity generation sourced from the country’s natural capital in accordance with its international agreements and commitments.”
The Director asserted that the Government expects some other developments to be realised by 2040, including the establishment of about seven solar farms in the hinterland regions. The Ministry of Finance has already developed a public/private partnership policy framework to fund these farms, she noted.
In the light of this, Ms. Schwiers said the project is timely as it will help the stakeholders in the private sector to better understand how to access the Green Climate Fund.
“It is intended to close a gap between the studies that have been completed and implementation as well as to start the process of engaging our private sector,” she said.
Ms. Schwiers therefore urged private sector stakeholders to capitalise on the avenues that are available for funding so that stronger relations can be fostered between both the Government and the private sector. “We need to ensure that no one is left out in the critical juncture of our development path,” she said.
Meanwhile, Director, Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe said Guyana is embarking on some exciting times in the country’s history as it being given an opportunity to pursue true transformational change, having discovered oil and gas off its coast and through its access to the Green Climate Fund.
“This transformation for us speaks not just in terms of verbiage, but in terms of what it means having discovered oil and gas off the coast of Guyana. The question is often asked is there a dichotomy (contrast) between Guyana pursuing a Green State Development Strategy, and Guyana discovering oil and gas and the answer that is often elicited from the Department is that while the Green State Development Strategy continues to be the development paradigm of the day. Guyana recognises that at least in the short term, it will require some level of non-renewable energy in its energy mix,” he said.
It is for this reason, the Director noted, that Government has not indicated that by 2035, it will reach 100 per cent but rather aims for 65 percent renewables.
“At the same time, we do not see a dichotomy because the Government has been on record as indicating that the revenues that are emerging from the oil and gas sector will be expected to be deployed in more strategic areas to place Guyana on a more sustainable development pathway. It is for this reason that this project is essential for achieving this balance. Government must continue to be concerned about allocating resources to sectors and activities of high or positive net social benefit. In other words, a kind of fit for purpose education programmes, healthcare, renewable energy, science and technology, eco-tourism and value addition in agro processing to name a few. It is essential that the focus be not just on oil and gas, but the revenues that come there from that can assist Guyana in its development trajectory,” Dr. Bynoe said.
GGGI Regional Director and Head of Programmes (Latin America and the Caribbean) Dr. Chan Ho Park; Green Climate Fund Investment Officer (Latin American and the Caribbean), Mr. Ferruccio Santetti, Head, Office of Climate Change, Ms. Janelle Christian also attended the event.