Developing a new green strategyGuyana is far from producing cheap, clean energy and developing a sound green strategy that will foster economic growth and development while ensuring that the country’s natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which the well-being of Guyanese rest.This was the firm view expressed by Opposition Leader and General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Bharrat Jagdeo at a press conference held at his Church Street, Georgetown office on Thursday. Jagdeo claimed that Government has lost their way in creating a sound green strategy.He described the direction in which the Government has taken as one that is meander and does not have any clear objective and guidance. Rather, the Administration is being blown into directions that are unnecessary, which he believes will not yield any good result for the country.The PPP General Secretary did not fail to mention the opportunity the current Government lost out on in going forward with the Amaila Falls Hydroelectricity Project which started under the PPP and would have assisted in a large way to produce clean and cheap energy to a large section of Guyana.“The Amaila Falls, they’ve gone quiet on that so hydro power is dead under this Government… Cheap energy, it seems will be out of the window so people’s electricity bills will keep mounting or not be reduced and the business community will not have the required boost through a cheaper energy.”Meanwhile, commenting on recent reports that Government is now seeking assistance from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) to provide solar panels to the hinterland region, Jagdeo said he does not support such a move as the Government seems uncertain or ignorant to several issues.According to the former Guyanese Head of State, the former PPP Government had left US$180 million through the Norwegian arrangement for this same project. He said US$17 million of that money was set aside as part of a project this year to do hinterland telecommunications.“That has not moved and we need to go and ask GGGI to tell us how to do this? We don’t need to do that or to ask them to help secure financing for these projects when we have money that the PPP left to the GRIF (Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund) that we haven’t even implemented as yet to many of these projects,” he said during the press conference lamenting that Government has indeed lost their way.Jagdeo said he has learnt that Government plans to also approach GGGI to look at a project for utility scale solar and to look at solar panels in the hinterland and to secure climate financing.“This shows how our Government has lost its way in relation to the climate change and the green sector. I was the President of the first assembly of the Global Green Growth Institute and I was part of the think tank before that… I know the purpose of the establishment of this organisation and to ask it to help you…”Again, Jagdeo reminded that 6000 plus solar panels were bought for various hinterland communities, which the current Government kept it in Georgetown. He also recalled that the PPP had initiated another project for 100 villages within the hinterland which would have made them beneficiaries of commercial scale solar panels. “We have prepared the villages already; we had gone out to procure the panels. Up to now that has not been implemented,” Jagdeo lamented.According to Jagdeo, at every available opportunity, President David Granger talks up his Government’s intention to develop huge wind farms, solar farms and hydropower plants; however, he hardly ventured into pointedly speaking about how he intends to attain those targets.Previously, the President had also pronounced that the Norway Funds will now be utilised for more strategic projects such as reforestation in mined-out areas, generation of energy apart from hydropower, coastal zone management and tackling the impacts of El Niño.But in light of certain actions taken by the current Administration, the former President believes that their promises are merely rhetoric for support of a green economy.Jagdeo has received many accolades and sat in high positions on various climate change related organisations. He is recognised as a global leader on climate change and climate finance.
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