Indigenous communities to receive 1st tranche payment from carbon sales tomorrow – Ali

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
President Dr Irfaan Ali

Tomorrow, the hinterland communities in Guyana will receive the first tranche of payments from Guyana’s carbon credit sales, from which the government has guaranteed 15 per cent will go to the indigenous peoples.

This was announced by President Dr. Irfaan Ali, during his keynote address at the Guyana Energy Conference and Expo ongoing at the Marriott Hotel.

He informed the room full of dignitaries, oil and gas industry professionals and delegates that these payments are made possible by a policy Guyana developed and implemented – the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

“While there is fanciful talk on how to help the indigenous people, on Wednesday, because of what the LCDS has earned for Guyana, Toshaos and leaders of our Amerindian villages, will receive a cheque in their hands for the people of those villages as a result of the LCDS and what it has earned for Guyana.”

“And we are not telling them (how to spend it). They have a cheque for the development of their community. And yet there is some who say to some of the Toshaos, don’t pick up the cheque, leave it. But I want to see which Toshao will not pick up the cheque and explain to their people why they didn’t pick up the cheque,” Ali further said.

It is understood that the first tranche will come from Guyana’s carbon credit sales to Hess Corporation, as per the 10-year agreement signed last year for the purchase of 37.5 million credits at US$750M.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has said that the indigenous communities will get 15 per cent or $23 billion, which they will spend according to their village development plans.

Meanwhile, speaking to the value of Guyana’s carbon credit potential, Ali also acknowledged the role played by former President Jagdeo in crafting the first LCDS.

President Ali also sought to emphasise that the LCDS is no longer purely a “Guyanese” concept. In fact, the President said that he wanted the LCDS to become a global model on sustainable development.

“When we speak about development and transformation and the positioning of Guyana, its not guesswork. Its careful, calculating, policy making aimed at transforming things. It calls for big thinking. First of all before you have big thinking, you have to have ideas. The LCDS is not an idea. The LCDS is the demonstration of a practical document.”

“Guyana’s position is to make the LCDS a global model for sustainable development. The LCDS is no longer a Guyana document. We’re embarking on a mission to make the LCDS a global model for sustainable development. Because we know what the LCDS is capable of.”

But while Guyana has been on its development pathway, President Ali also used the occasion to lambast those who he said have sought to derail that development. An example he used was the former combined A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Opposition’s non-support of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP), during the President Donald Ramotar administration.

“Many persons today are shouting from the top of the mountain, about oh, why go hydro? More than decade ago, the then government who are in office now painstakingly got investors to come here for the investment of hydro, AFHP. You know what they did? They killed the project. An international investor walked away. Today, that project would have been completed and the people of Guyana would have been receiving electricity at half the price. It would have happened a long time ago,” Ali asserted.