The solution to the energy crisis facing many countries in the Western Hemisphere can come from within.
Guyanese President, Dr Mohammed Irfaan Ali, made the observation in his address to regional leaders at the ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California on Friday.
Sanctions placed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in February have pushed the price of oil and gas to levels not seen in over a decade. Many of the nations in the region are highly dependent on power generated from fossil fuels.
But Ali said the oil and gas reserves of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, and soon Barbados, could be leveraged to build and increase prosperity across the region
“Let us get together and have a conversation that defines a pathway to energy security for this region. We have the potential and we must use every available tool to reach that,” Ali said.
Ali said collaboration is key for the region to climb out of the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
The president noted that millions of people in the Western Hemisphere are going hungry every day, and the number is growing.
“This is the reality of the region that we live in today,” he stated.
As the world prepares to move to more green sources of energy, Ali said his government is committed to maintaining its vast rainforests in order to maintain a small carbon footprint.
“We have standing forests the size of England, storing 19.5 gigatonnes of carbon,” he said.
With Guyana poised to become one of the world’s fastest-growing economies over the next decade, Ali said his country will not be selfish in its development and plans to use its vast amounts of arable land and natural resources to assist its neighbours.