While all attention is being paid to May 11th (elections day in Guyana), it is important that we take a moment to remember that when that day comes and goes for this small nation, there are global items on our agenda that transcend the boundaries of any social or political conflict ever faced on this planet. Anthropogenic climate change remains paramount on the global agenda and this year will be a pivotal one. In Paris come December, 200 countries will make pledges towards the formation of a global climate change pact.
These pledges or commitments called “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) represent an unprecedented initiative, where countries are asked to state exactly what role they intend to play in tackling this global problem. Thus far, 36 countries have revealed their INDCs, covering a total of 29% of global GHG emissions. Last year the USA and China made an historic move by announcing their long term climate goals. Their INDCs however, are still to be seen.
That being said, what role does Guyana intend to play on the global stage and what will our INDCs entail? INDCs as the term suggests, are nationally defined commitments. As such widespread consultations are expected to be conducted so that everyone is on board with the plans that are set forth. This is essential and must include all political parties, since a change in Government must not affect the goals that are set out in 2015 nor the pursuance of a Post-2020 agenda (the global pact will be adopted in 2015 and come into effect in 2020).
Most persons by now should be aware of the LCDS and what it strives to achieve. But how will the LCDS be tapered so as to prepare Guyana’s INDCs? Will Guyana go it alone or will we seek an integrated CARICOM approach? And how will our global commitments be structured to cater for the massive influx of GHG emissions that Guyana will be accountable for should the numerous offshore oil explorations prove successful? Will that have a negative effect on the entire LCDS?
These are all pertinent questions which we must seriously address as a nation if we wish to capitalize on financial avenues that should be made available to developing countries like Guyana once a Post-2020 agenda is adopted and ratified. Are there going to be nation-wide consultations leading up to the Paris meeting and will Guyana even produce a list of INDCs?