President of Guyana: Eating, Clean Water, Jobs Come before “Climate Change”

President Irfaan Ali celebrated World Environment Day June 5 by forcefully stating the basic principle of any actual human economic system or government: People come first. “We cannot address climate issues unless we address the fundamental needs and wants of human beings. We cannot even speak about climate change if we have people who are hungry, people who don’t have access to water, people who don’t have access to wages and earnings. Then they have no other alternative but to seek out every possible way to survive.”

President Ali recalled that, according to UNICEF, one in three persons globally has no access to safe drinking water, and some 4.2 billion people do not have access to safely managed sanitation, not to mention the lack of adequate housing.

In that context, he slammed the “climate change” double-standards which discriminate against poor developing countries, citing the pressure on those countries to use “sustainable” forms of power generation which have huge capital costs, “and the monopoly is held by the very nations that exploited oil and gas to develop themselves.” Moreover, although deforestation is unsustainable, he pointed out that in some countries, people often have to do it “to keep food on the table for their children and their community”.

Indirectly responding to the attacks on his country for developing its own oil and gas resources, Ali made clear his government will not capitulate to those pressures. Indeed, the discovery of major crude oil reserves off the Atlantic coast has had a large impact on Guyana’s GDP since drilling began in 2019, allowing a sharp rise in GDP. Guyana will continue “the responsible exploitation of resources in the productive sector,” President Ali promised.

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