Guyana to receive US$45 million more from Norway for carbon credits

Guyana’s commitment to low levels of deforestation while advancing the nation’s landmark Low Carbon Development Strategy has earned it an additional US$45 million from Norway.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Thursday, January 3, 2013 – While Carbon trading continues to be a controversial arrangement in some parts of the globe for Guyana it is bringing in significant sums of money through its ongoing arrangement with the Norwegian government.

Guyana has been approved to receive an additional US$45 million from the government of Norway for its climate services in maintaining extremely low levels of deforestation while advancing the nation’s landmark Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

In November 2010, Guyana and Norway entered into an agreement, which represented the second biggest interim REDD+ agreement in the world, and through which Norway committed to providing to Guyana up to US$250M by 2015, for avoided deforestation and degradation.

This last installment now brings all three contributions from the Norway-Guyana climate and forest partnership to a total of US$115 million since the program was announced in 2009. Just as importantly, there are now clear signs that the monies are beginning to flow to important climate change and poverty alleviation investments that will improve the overall economy, support Amerindian peoples’ development and land rights while keeping carbon pollution well below the rates of leading developed countries.

Money from the allotted $115 million, which is facilitated through the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF), is now beginning to flow to investments identified in Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy, including the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project. This project will deliver a steady source of renewable energy that is affordable, reliable and is envisioned to meet Guyana’s domestic energy needs while removing dependency on fossil fuels.

The government of Guyana projects that Amaila will save consumers and businesses approximately GUY$3.5 billion over the next 20 years, while at the same time reducing carbon emissions and creating jobs. The project is being developed in partnership with Sithe Global, an internationally regarded power developer, the Inter-American Development Bank and the China Development Bank. The Amaila project is expected to begin generating power in 2017.

“This latest contribution from our partnership with Norway will help achieve the vision that we laid out through our Low Carbon Development Strategy more than three years ago. Our vision is to create a strong and vibrant low-carbon economy that benefits our people, reduces pressures on our forests and provides valuable climate services to the world,” Donald Ramotar, the president of Guyana, said in a statement.

“With this payment, Guyana can continue on this important path while showing that economic growth is compatible with sustainability. It is not only the people of Guyana who will benefit from this arrangement. It is also the countries around the world who can rest assured that our forests will continue to trap carbon pollution, and that our development won’t come at the high price of deforestation.”