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|The International Solar Alliance (ISA) Fourth Meeting of the Regional Committee of the Latin America and Caribbean Region, which is being held in Guyana from 3rd to 5th August, saw a commitment by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that by 2027 there will be 47 per cent of energy reliance coming from renewable sources. Attainment of the goal is expected to see a reduction in oil imports by 260 million barrels and carbon emissions by 26 per cent.
President Irfaan Ali, in his presentation at the Meeting, has proposed a number of key questions for consideration by regional energy ministers and other stakeholders in developing a concrete plan that could see the transition to renewable energy use in an environmentally sustainable and economically viable manner.
Guyana is in no position, as of now, to reach this ambitious goal, said one environmentalist. “Guyana still does not have a sustainable overarching policy to reach the goals countries have agreed to, and it is within this context the present address to the Meeting should he looked at.”
President Ali told the gathering, on Thursday, that the transition means there is a gap that needs to be filled and what fills that gap is a question that must be answered. Those statements, in addition to admittance that transitioning to renewable energy sources is not a cheap process, is direct admittance of his administration’s unpreparedness and absence of strategy to convert oil and gas money into a green economy, according to a Village Voice source.
It was observed the president raised a number of key issues that Guyana also needs to answer in achieving the 2027 goal. To wit questions asked by the president about sourcing the solar batteries, replacement cost of the batteries, environmental damage in dumping those batteries or recycling them are questions Guyana must answer.
The statement made by President Ali that “no country that wants to accomplish a development path that is based on sustainability can do so without understanding that they must have a plan, an overall plan as to how we want to achieve renewable energy” is one that his administration should heed, as matter of urgency, said the source.
Countries, who are signatories to the 2015 United Nations Paris Agreement, pledged to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to adapt to the impacts of climate change. They proposed to do this by scaling up renewable energy, which can sharply reduce one major source of the problem: energy-related CO2 emissions. Guyana is among those countries.