July 13, 2022
Media Advisory: Guyana Business Journal & Caribbean Policy Consortium hold a webinar, Episode II, in the series Transforming Guyana: Sovereignty and a developing country’s rights to develop its oil and gas sectors-How should Guyana balance exploiting her oil and gas resources and protecting the environment?
Recording Available Here:
Kemraj Parsram, Executive Director of Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
Dax Driver, President, and CEO of The Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago;
Lorraine Sobers, Fulbright Scholar, and Lecturer at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine; and
Neville Trotz, former Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Guyana and Director of the Institute of Applied Science and Technology at Turkeyen, Guyana, Science Adviser to the Commonwealth Secretary-General and Science Adviser to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, based in Belmopan, Belize.
Dr. Terrence Blackman, Medgar Evers College at the City University of New York, Guyana Business Journal (Moderator)
Dr. David E. Lewis, Caribbean Policy Consortium & Manchester Trade Ltd. Inc. (Moderator)
- Dr. Dax Driver (President and CEO of The Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago):
- “Nobody living in affluent London has the moral authority to tell anybody living in Georgetown, Paramaribo, or the Port of Spain that they need to leave their oil and gas in the ground to stop climate change. The affluence of this city has been created through the fossil fuels which have built the modern world.”
- “Stopping fossil fuels production in the Caribbean will have no impact upon global climate change. The problem is the consumption of fossil fuels.”
- “For countries like Guyana and Suriname with these massive oil resources in place… the priority has to be to fast track that development of those resources. This is something that Guyana has done extremely well since its first discovery.”
- Dr. Lorraine Sobers (UWI, St. Augustine):
- “Guyana is set to produce over a million barrels per day before the end of the decade, and that is just astonishing growth. The intention that is laid out in the Low Carbon Development Strategy for the country speaks to using renewable energy so the revenues from the oil production to develop renewable energy, hydropower in particular, and of course solar.”
- “CARICOM is supporting Guyana’s right to produce and so are the African countries.”
- Kemraj Parsram (Executive Director Environmental Protection Agency, Guyana):
- “Environment and development are not mutually exclusive.”
- Dr. Neville Trotz (former Science Adviser to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre):
- “We are living in a world committed to climate change. So it is very important that we look at adaptation, which is as critical to us as mitigation.”
- “Our other option… is to exploit and use the resources that we generate from oil and gas to accelerate the transformation to zero carbon status for the energy sector and climate resilient Guyana through adaptation.”
- “One of our biggest constraints in addressing climate change issues both on the mitigation side, which is about transforming the energy sector which is critical for the Caribbean and on the adaptation side which is building resilience to the changes that we are already living with is a question of resources. We now have an opportunity to martial the type of resources that we need for that transformation in a proper time frame.”
- David Lewis
- On efficiency: “The development of a reliable and sustainable grid and the situation with utilities, not only in Guyana but anybody to comment on the rest of the Caribbean where it’s a challenge in some countries, and how to blend in this opportunity in terms of national, regional energy production in Guyana and the Caribbean and how we use that to build up that efficiency and resilience of the grid and many of our utilities.”
To achieve its climate change goals, the world must dramatically cut fossil fuel consumption. But climate change success may put developing countries rich in fossil fuels in an almost no-win situation. Suppose there is no progress in combating climate change. In that case, developing countries are likely disproportionately harmed by the floods, droughts, and other weather-related problems spawned by a warming planet. But if there are successful global actions to address climate change, poorer countries rich in fossil fuels will likely face a precipitous fall in the value of their coal, gas, and oil deposits. If the world permanently moves away from using fossil fuels, the likely result will be a considerable reduction in the value of their national and natural wealth.
How should Guyana position itself at this moment in its oil and gas journey?
Terrence Blackman, Ph.D.
Dr. David E. Lewis
Manchester Trade Ltd. Inc.
International Business Advisors
2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW – 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20037