Guyana closer to crafting national climate change policy

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Guyana is crafting a national climate change policy with assistance from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Head of the Office of Climate Change, Janelle Christian, said the policy will ensure that there is collective action to mainstream climate change mitigation efforts across all sectors. Christian explained that her office has been in discussions with the CDB for several months, on the policy.

Head of Office of Climate Change Janelle Christian

“We have received firm commitment from the CDB to support the Government of Guyana through the Office of Climate Change for the preparation of a National Climate Change Policy and also to support the office directly by preparing a strategic plan (to guide us) over the next five to ten years,” Christian explained.

Christian noted that the national climate change policy would provide overarching guidance to all sector agencies to help them develop respective sector plans. She said this is necessary to integrate climate action into all developmental planning whether social, environmental or economic activities.

Christian further explained that Guyana will be receiving support through the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub to fund activities to better tackle climate change. The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub initiative was implemented at the opening of the COP21 Climate Change Summit in Paris, France, to assist vulnerable small states already facing the adverse impacts of climate change.

“Guyana is among one of the first countries to be benefitting from the Commonwealth Secretariat Climate Finance Access Hub and they will be supporting the Government of Guyana by sending a climate finance advisor in the first instance for 12 months, with the possibility of extension,” Christian said, adding that the finance advisor is expected here by the second quarter of this year.

Additionally, the Latin America Energy Agency  is supporting the process to implement energy efficiency solutions in public buildings.

According to Christian, local agencies have also come on board to support the Office of Climate Change in implementing and developing the national policy for climate change adaption and mitigation.

Christian pointed out that the office has been working very closely with the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), National Center for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) and the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) among others.

“Given the fact that we want to address the gap in public knowledge of climate change and how it impacts our lives, we would like to have an ongoing public education and awareness programme,” Christian said.

The Head of the Office of Climate Change said while the Office awaits the resources to develop the national policy, awareness sessions have started in schools. (GINA)

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