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SIDS must be innovative to achieve climate transition – Min. Bharrat

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Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, stressed the importance of innovation and creativity in crafting initiatives that help Small Island Developing States (SIDS) adapt to climate change and transition to renewable energy.

The minister was at the time speaking during the ‘Blue Talks’ series on Thursday, which was organised by the United Nations in preparation for the 2025 UN Oceans Conference.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat

He reiterated that a common issue in the renewable energy transition is limited or no access to financing. In some cases many energy projects in SIDS receive funding in their initial stages, there are no systems in place in others to maintain these large-scale projects in the aftermath, the minister stated.  

“If you get financing for the project, and if the project lifespan is three years or four years, that’s fine. But after three or four years, how do we maintain that? How do we continue what was already started? And that is also another challenge faced by small island developing states,” he explained.

Minister Bharrat further emphasised, “If you ask any SID state or any country, as a matter of fact, throughout the world, what is the number one reason for you not achieving your target that you would have set? And they will tell you, besides technology, besides expertise, it is financing. It is resources to achieve it.”

Therefore, the natural resources minister underscored that innovation and creativity must be employed to facilitate this shift sustainably.

He suggested these states explore earning blue, green, and biodiversity credits.

These credits provide financial rewards and incentivise practices that combat climate change and protect the environment.

Blue credits focus on healthy oceans and coasts, green credits on sustainable land management, and biodiversity credits on protecting the variety of life on Earth.

In this regard, the minister said Guyana is a “shining example, ” fortunate to have a wealth of natural resources and several transformational projects and initiatives that encourage environmental sustainability while capitalising on these resources.

The Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030 has enabled the country to earn approximately $1 billion to date through its Forest Partnership with Norway

Furthermore, in recognition of its efforts to curb deforestation and forest degradation between 2016 and 2020, Guyana was awarded 33.47 million forest carbon credits. This achievement paved the way for a significant agreement with Hess, who committed to purchasing these high-quality REDD+ carbon credits from Guyana for at least US$750 million, covering the period 2022 to 2032.

“So similarly, we are saying that the small island developing states must take this kind of initiative. Bahamas, I know, is taking a similar kind of initiative with their marine space. And it is also important, for other small islands, especially those in the Pacific,” he added.

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