‒ Granger still with a plan to come up with a plan - Ram­sa­roop ‒ Squan­dered a golden op­por­tu­nity which was in­her­ited in the LCDS - a strat­egy that saw Guyana earn­ing US$250M

Weekend Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Pres­i­dent

David Granger, will next week, jet off to the 72nd Reg­u­lar Ses­sion of the United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly in New York, where he will again have an op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress world lead­ers and to have Guyana’s per­spec­tive laid out with re­gards to world af­fairs.

Given the de­struc­tion and car­nage left in the af­ter­math of Hur­ri­cane Irma, stretch­ing from the Caribbean in the At­lantic Ocean to North Amer­ica, where the de­struc­tion is in the stag­ger­ing bil­lions, the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs has rec­og­nized that cli­mate change and the treat­ment of the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of Small Is­land and De­vel­op­ing States = of which Guyana is con­sid­ered a mem­ber - and means of as­sist­ing them to cope. There is no doubt that cli­mate change will be one of the sub­jects that take cen­ter stage.

“What will Granger re­ally hope to achieve, in ad­dress­ing this most crit­i­cal is­sue, when based on what I have read and seen, he has no vi­able plan to present to the world lead­ers?”

This was among the crit­i­cal ques­tions posed this past week by Eco­nomic Ad­vi­sor to the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion, Dr. Peter Ram­sa­roop.

The PPP can­di­date, dur­ing an in­ter­view with this pub­li­ca­tion, ahead of Granger’s ad­dress was very crit­i­cal of the Pres­i­dent’s track record when it comes to the mat­ter of cli­mate change and miti- gat­ing its ef­fects.

“The Pres­i­dent ap­pears to have a plan to come up with a plan, is he re­ally go­ing to go to New York to tell the lead­ers of the world that is Guyana’s cur­rent po­si­tion, airy fairy ideas with no cred­i­ble sub­stance ....the same Guyana who won in­ter­na­tional ac­claim in re­cent years through the Low Car­bon Devel­op­ment Strat­egy (LCDS), ac­cepted by many in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity as a model?” Dr. Ram­sa­roop ques­tioned.’

Dr. Ram­sa­roop stated that the Pres­i­dent squan­dered a golden op­por­tu­nity, which was in­her­ited in the LCDS - a strat­egy that saw Guyana earn­ing US$250M from the King­dom of Nor­way for the preser­va­tion of our forests un­der a pi­o­neer­ing car­bon trad­ing regime.

Such was the in­ter­na­tional ac­claim of the LCDS, the then Pres­i­dent, Bhar­rat Jag- deo, was named ‘Cham­pion of the Earth’ by the United Na­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr. Ram­sa­roop…“not only was Jagdeo able to come up with a vi­able strat­egy for the sus­tain­able devel­op­ment of nat­u­ral re­source, he was also able to mon­e­tize the ben­e­fits un­der the pact with Nor­way.”

Point­ing to the marked dif­fer­ences of ap­proach, Dr Ram­sa­roop ob­served that in re­cent days, the Of­fice of Cli­mate Change (OCC) - a depart­ment of the Min­istry of the Pres­i­dency - opened a three-day work­shop to fo­cus on build­ing the ca­pac­ity of com­mu­nity lead­ers and pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor stake­hold­ers to ap­ply and ac­cess fund­ing from the Green Cli­mate Fund (GCF).

The Green Cli­mate Fund was set up in 2010 at the 16th Con­fer­ence of Par­ties in Can­cun, Mex­ico and is now the world’s largest ded­i­cated cli­mate fund, which is in­tended to be the cen­ter­piece of the global ef­forts to mo­bilise $100B per year in cli­mate fi­nance by 2020.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr Ram­sa­roop, the GCF is but an­other of the in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments, which is in no way guar­an­teed.

Coun­tries such as Guyana do not have any guar­an­tees in ac­cess­ing any sig­nif­i­cant money from that Fund.

“In­stead of fo­cus­ing on broader strate­gies and more ways to mon­e­tize the ef­forts on the lo­cal and re­gional fronts in terms of the cli­mate change fight and mitigation ef­forts where the na­tion can earn sig­nif­i­cant sums through mea­sures such as the car­bon trade, the Pres­i­dent and his Govern­ment seem only in­ter- ested in ap­proach­ing pri­vate in­ter­na­tional in­ter­ests with a beg­ging bowl.”

Dr. Ram­sa­roop has since sur­mised t hat Pres­i­dent Granger will not be able to sway the con­science of any in­ter­na­tional world leader to look to Guyana as a beacon in the fight against cli­mate change.

He said the Green State Devel­op­ment Strat­egy “is noth­ing but a plan to come up with a plan... we who were once rec­og­nized as lead­ing the fight against cli­mate change will be­come the laugh­ing stock of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity when ‘Pres­i­dent Greenger’ (sic) presents his plan to come up with a plan to be the shin­ing ex­am­ple the world.”

This, af­ter the United States, one of the world’s largest con­trib­u­tors to the de­struc­tion of the planet through its car­bon emis­sions, sig­naled its in­ten­tion to pull out of the Paris Ac­cord, plung­ing what the world had placed its hopes in, in jeop­ardy.

Dr Ram­sa­roop said that one should not be too ex­cited at Guyana’s op­por­tu­nity to again present some­thing worth­while to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

“It is but an­other ex­am­ple of the woe­ful lack of lead­er­ship that is be­ing demon­strated by the Granger Ad­min­is­tra­tion, who, like him­self has been call­ing on for­mer mil­i­tary of­fi­cers to help prop up an in­ef­fec­tive govern­ment.

Sound and ef­fec­tive lead­er­ship, ac­cord­ing to Dr. Ram­sa­roop, him­self a mil­i­tary vet­eran, is what he had ex­pected from Granger, but his style of man­age­ment is in­dica­tive of some­one who has clearly lost the abil­ity to lead and is over­whelmed by the com­plex­i­ties of run­ning a na­tion.

“Af­ter all, for the past 20 years all Granger was do­ing was run­ning a mag­a­zine that had a min­i­mal read­er­ship and reach. The lead­er­ship skills the mil­i­tary taught us has been aban­doned, ” Dr. Ram­sa­roop opined.

“Pres­i­dent Granger seems caught up in apo­lit­i­cal one up­man­ship try­ing to ri­val Jagdeo’s suc­cess­ful LCDS ap­proach, which brought mil­lions of dol­lars into our econ­omy from Nor­way. He (Granger) de­cided to present to the na­tion, some­thing called the Green Econ­omy - an econ­omy which has in­stead quickly be­come ‘grey’, symp­to­matic of the de­press­ing state of af­fairs across the spec­trum of this govern­ment’s ac­tions – lack of vi­sion, lack of ex­per­tise, lack of im­pact as­sess­ment , just mud­dling through. Maybe his legacy is about Greenger (sic), the paint­ing of the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and the mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar fence green.

Mov­ing Guyana to re­new­able en­ergy is not about putting so­lar pan­els on State House; it is about an ef­fected en­ergy pro­gramme that in­volves re-es­tab­lish­ing the hy­dro plant at Amaila Falls, grow­ing more sugar cane for co-gen­er­a­tion of power and ethanol pro­duc­tion and a strat­egy to make more ef­fi­cient use of other en­ergy sources.

“Con­vinc­ing world lead­ers at the top world fo­rum to look in your di­rec­tion as a model for re­new­able devel­op­ment will re­quire well thought through cred­i­ble so­lu­tions to the pro­found cli­matic chal­lenges fac­ing Guyana and the world - not a plan to come up with a plan,” Dr Ram­sa­roop con­cluded.

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