PM advocates for decisive global leadership in sustainable development

Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips stressed the need for leadership at all levels, during his keynote address at the three-day Energy and Resource Institute’s (TERI) 2024 World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS), which will conclude on February 9 in New Delhi, India.

The Prime Minister said that leadership is needed at the global, national, and sub-national levels to be able to take “timely and decisive steps toward meeting sustainable development goals”.

He also challenged the leaders present to deliberate upon and forge partnerships that are critical to achieving the Paris Agreement goals and, more importantly, that are needed to keep the planet and its people healthy.

In addressing the theme of this year’s summit Leadership for Sustainable Development and Climate Justice, Prime Minister Phillip noted that “despite the many challenges experienced globally, including lack of sustainable financing, supply chain challenges, fiscal deficits, high debt levels, inflationary pressures and higher energy and material prices, national commitments must not waver”.

Accordingly, he emphasised that “as the year 2030 approaches, there is a need for international cooperation and collaboration from the public and private sectors to address the complexities and uncertainties in climate financing, technical capacities, policies, and regulatory frameworks to drive the energy transition”.

He also highlighted the paradox that developing countries contribute the least towards global emissions but are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which is further compounded by the challenges of securing climate finance for adaptation and access to technology transfer for decarbonisation.

Prime Minister Phillips underscored that Guyana remains “mindful of its international commitments as recognised in the Paris Agreement and is committed to maintaining its net carbon sink status”. Moreover, this is being achieved by “introducing policies such as REDD+ under our Low-Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS)”.

Further, he affirmed Guyana’s commitment “to building its infrastructural capacity and transitioning towards clean energy”, while highlighting some of the initiatives that the Government of Guyana has undertaken in this regard, including the launch of the country’s updated LCDS 2030, which also focuses on aligning policies with global climate and biodiversity goals; the installation of a 300MW natural gas–to–energy power plant; the distribution of 30,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to off-grid Hinterland and riverine households to benefit close to 140,000 persons in over 240 communities; two utility-scale solar PV farms; 31 solar mini-grids; and rooftop solar PV systems at over 350 public buildings.

He also congratulated the organisation on its achievements while acknowledging the longstanding partnership that Guyana has shared with TERI over the years and the support the country has received from the organisation in advancing sustainable development and delivering lasting solutions to climate change.

Prime Minister Phillips, who is on an Official Visit to India, joined the Honourable Jagdeep Dhankhar, Vice President of India and the Honourable Shri Bhupender Yadav, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India, to inaugurate the 23rd edition of the WSDS.

This year, the inaugural session of the Summit served to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of TERI.

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