first_imgDays after the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 was handed over to President David Granger, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo labelled the document as ceremonial and promised to have it scrapped when the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) returns to power.According to Jagdeo, the coalition’s strategy, which was handed over to President David Granger by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Director – Latin America and the Caribbean, Leo Heileman, on Tuesday, is a flawed approach since it does not focus on Guyanese and tangible returns to them.“I made it clear that the PPP will scrap this approach. The Green State Strategy, when they launch it in September, it would just be a good photo opportunity for the President and another speech touting the ‘Green Credentials’ of our Government. But in reality, it will mean very little to people in Guyana in terms of jobs, better access to health and education or anything else,” he stated.Jagdeo, who was a recipient of a Champion of the Earth Award back in 2010 while he was still President, had pioneered the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which was launched under his regime in 2009. As such, the former President on Thursday did a comparison of the two strategies.“The fundamental thing that is different about our strategies is that one, the LCDS was an economic strategy that sought to move Guyana to perperity and our people to greater wealth and benefits, using a decarboniser, a cleaner energy and a green pathway. In their case, it is about an environment strategy mainly that they’re hoping to superimpose on the country and, therefore, it requires funding from our sources,” he said.Pointing to an advertisement that Government is circulating that it has delivered on training Guyanese for “Green jobs”, Jagdeo questioned how many such jobs were actually created “outside of planting some palms down” along the highway on the East Coast of Demerara.The Opposition Leader went on to outline the glaring differences with the coalition’s GSDS and his party’s LCDS. He pointed out that the LCDS was indigenously developed from over 1000 engagements and with one foreign consultant who did pro bono work on the theoretical base of the strategy. The GSDS, on the other hand, Jagdeo noted, was developed by external consultants.Further, the Opposition Leader outlined that unlike the coalition’s strategy which will be funded not only by taxpayers’ money but revenues from the impending oil and gas as well, the LCDS identified ways of using the country’s strategic assets to make money.“So from the forestry sector, through the sale of forest carbon, we had earned also $200 million. We had an agreement with Norway to sell them forest carbons up to $250 million – $200 million of that is already available to us and by now we should have been on a second such arrangement that would’ve seen another $400 million or so coming to Guyana,” he explained, while adding “So [one] was [strategic], is a generator of funds and the other is a user of funds from taxpayer sources as well as oil money. That’s [one of] the big differences between the two strategies.”Another area Jagdeo highlighted was the fact that LCDS had identified specific projects to decarbonise the energy sector. One such project, he noted, was the Amaila Falls Hydro Project, which was scrapped by the coalition. According to Jagdeo, the hydro project would have decarbonised the energy requirements by over 90 per cent – making it much easier for Guyana to become carbon-free.“This Government, although it promised in the Paris Agreement to do a 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025, has not identified a single new project that will actually deliver this. [The GSDS] is another APNU-type promise where there is just talk with no action,” he asserted.Among the other projects the former President noted that were crafted under the LCDS were Amerindian land titling, ITC development in hinterland communities and a grant scheme for small business. Many of these projects, Jagdeo said, are being carried out by the coalition, while others are yet to take off.“[We had] specific projects that would have delivered both on the mitigation side, which is to reduce our carbon emission, and on the adaptation side, preparing our country for climate change. In this case, there are no projects. It’s just declarative statements from the consultants… In a typical APNU-style, its lofty ideas… but when you come to the specifics for delivery, [such projects] are absent,” the Opposition Leader argued.The coalition’s GSDS: Vision2040 is intended to be a living example of Guyana’s commitment to the planet while ensuring the sustainable growth and economic wellbeing of its population. It will guide Guyana’s national development policies for the next 20 years.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeolast_img

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