Trees suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. They are the most effective means we have of reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. But again and again, tree planting projects have created problems for local communities.
In 2009, Norway launched Guyana’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation programme. Back then, it was an amibitious US$250 million scheme. Ten years later Guyana’s REDD has been almost completely abandoned.
Conservation International and the University of Guyana recently accepted US$10 million from ExxonMobil Foundation. This grant (or “investment”, as ExxonMobil likes to call it) reveals a lot about Conservation International and its support for the REDD carbon trading scheme.
The Amaila Falls Hydropower Project is the keystone of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy, that was launched in 2009 by then-President Bharrat Jagdeo. But the project has been on hold since August 2013, when the project developer, Blackstone Group’s Sithe Global pulled out.
On Monday, Guyana’s Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, presented the state budget in Parliament. In his speech, he slammed the proposed Amaila Falls hydropower dam, the flagship project of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy.