• Says Guyana will continue to champion food, energy and climate security

Dubai, UAE—(December 1, 2023) His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali said that there is a need for the world to collectively reset global relationships and imbue them with enhanced trust in friendship to devise solutions to issues such as climate change, conflicts and energy and food security.

The Head of State made the statement during his address to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) 28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) today.
The President underscored the need for a united approach in the world’s quest to mitigate challenges.
He explained the difficulty in reaching a consensus if the debate at COP is framed by two different camps—one calling for no cuts in fossil fuel production, including the most polluting form such as coal, and the other saying that the only solution to net zero is an end to fossil fuel production.

He pointed out this would result in a failure to “achieve a viable outcome”.

President Ali explained that net zero by 2050 can only be achieved by a combination of measures that include a reduction in fossil fuel production and the removal of large polluters from the supply chain; incentivising the introduction of renewables at scale; addressing the energy demand; upscaling technology, for example, carbon capture and storage; and reduction in deforestation and land degradation through incentives and incentivising the protection and sustainable management of forests.

To this end, the President emphasised the three main priorities for the Conference: “Agreeing on a just, orderly and affordable transition away from excessive fossil fuel use; ensuring at-scale and accessible climate finance for the developing world that is of a scale that matched what needs to be done, and agreeing on the action at scale to maintain tropical forests and advance sustainable land use”.

Specifically for tropical forests, the President said that the Conference must finally turn the promise of climate action into reality. This, he explained, means halting and reversing forest loss globally by 2030, which is potentially one-third of the available solution to keep the target of 1.5 degrees in reach.

The President added that finance is key and with Guyana co-chairing the carbon markets working group of the Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership (consisting of 30 countries), the country and its partners will be working to build high-quality carbon markets so that forest communities and countries can prosper while keeping nature intact.

The Head of State reminded the conference that in 2008 Guyana was the first developing country to produce a Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and expressed that the country still maintains one of the world’s most intact tropical forests with one of the lowest deforestation rates.

He said that Guyana’s forests currently store more than 19.5 Gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalents. He emphasised and reaffirmed that while the country’s economy will grow more than three-fold, the energy-related emissions will be kept flat.

“The world in the last 50 years has lost 65% of its biodiversity. Our forest is one of the few forests that continues to nurture and keep that biodiversity. That by itself has a very important value. The ecological system has a value, the freshwater, the wetlands, all of this have tremendous and important value, that we must start the conversation and advance the conversation in pricing and ensuring that that value is not understated or taken for granted.”


The Head of State underscored that Guyana will continue its global leadership drive in food, energy and climate security.

“We stand in solidarity with everyone who is working to create a better future, especially in developing countries. And we will always put practical solutions before abstract theories, so that we can play our part in finally bringing climate stability within reach.”

The President also expounded during an interview with the media that as an emerging petroleum state, Guyana’s model presents an excellent opportunity for the world to learn from, “where we can all commit towards net zero, but not sacrificing the development of countries and development of people”.