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President Irfaan Ali told the nearly 200 high-income countries their commitment to helping developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change through funding should be honoured.
Local commentators observed Guyana’s president could go on the international stage, talk tough and demand big and small nations adhere to commitment in treaties and other agreements, when among fellow Guyanese the president does not uphold his commitment, under the Constitution and Laws of Guyana, to the people.
Addressing leaders at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday, Dr Ali said developed nations are falling far behind.
“The paltry US$100 billion pledge (and the failure to meet it) must be viewed in the context of the likely costs of climate action for mitigation, adaptation and addressing loss and damage. It is not enough!” he explained.
The president said the costs of adaptation will most likely be higher than the predicted range of US$140 to US$300 billion annually by 2030 and US$280 to US$ 500 billion annually by 2050 for developing nations.
The president is also insisting the UN revisits climate decisions that put small countries at economic risks.
The UN General Assembly was told that despite the US$79.6 billion commitment in 2019, to developing countries for planning and adaptation to the effects of climate change – the chasm is widening exponentially.
According to President Ali “The gap between predicted adaptation costs and existing public adaptation financial flows is generally growing and ranges from five to ten times more.”
He shared the opinion that broad rules adaptation for carbon markets at COP26 provide the possibility for forest rich countries to unlock critical resources. COP26 refers to the 26th annual meeting of Conference of the Parties (COP). The participating countries signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that came into force in 1994.
COP26 is structured around four broad objectives:
- Reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and keep global warming below +1.5 °C;
- Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats, particularly those most threatened by climate change;
- Mobilise climate finance (at least US $100 billion a year) to achieve the first two goals;
- Working together to achieve carbon neutrality: the challenges of the climate crisis can only be overcome if everyone plays their part.
The president said “Forested countries, like Guyana, can potentially earn billions of dollars accessible through the voluntary carbon markets. However, the current approximate price is US$10 per tonne on the voluntary market – Whilst according to an IMF Report, the price should be closer to US$70 per tonne. COP27 must make progress in refining the rules for the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and make decisions that would increase the price of carbon traded in voluntary carbon markets”
Guyana has a Low Carbon Development Strategy which has the ambitious plan of creating a new low-carbon economy by 2030 by establishing incentives which value the world’s ecosystem services, such as its standing forest. This is an essential component of a new model of global development with sustainability at its core.
Back in 2009, the world leaders had pledged to mobilise US$100 billion every year to support low and middle-income countries in tackling climate change. This commitment was reaffirmed in 2015, with the aim of providing financing in full by 2020, sustaining it through 2025.