“Capacity building for our population is key” -Minister Harmon to GGGI delegation

Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, today, met with a delegation from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), an international organisation of which Guyana is a founding member, that focuses on assisting countries to adopt new green models in their development and investment planning, formulate ‘green’ growth policies, build capacities for implementation of ‘green’ growth polices and mobilise finance for ‘green’ growth investments.

Since 2017, through a collaborative effort, GGGI has been assisting Guyana in the Scaling up of Renewable Energy Project and has been hosting workshops for the public and private sector to garner widespread involvement. Through the collaboration, the GGGI through its Engineer/ Consultant, Mr. David Fernandez has been assisting in the preparation of an Urban Sector Solar Energy Program. This program is being designed to cater to both the commercial and industrial companies and will see the installation of solar photovoltaic panels being installed on identified companies. Funding is also being sought through International Financial Institutions for the execution of this project.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the Urban Sector Solar Energy Program, Scaling Renewable Energy Program, possible financing options and accessing Global Climate Funds (GCF) and the possible establishment of an office for the GGGI in Guyana.

Minister Harmon, in his remarks to the group, said that in building capacity for the implementation of ‘green’ growth policies, local content is most impactful when buttressed by a prepared and educated population. He noted that Guyanese must be equipped to take control of the development in their homeland. “In my view, local content can never progress unless you have the people being prepared to take their positive roles in society… So, while [we] will legislate for local content, if we do not prepare our people to benefit from that legislation, then it is basically… a piece of paper that gives the companies obligations, but do not really create a real benefit for the people themselves… I believe that capacity building for our population is key through all of this—to the extent which we’re able to get assistance in preparing our population, educating them, training them, and bringing them up to a certain level [where] they can, in fact, take over [the] management… of some of these projects… [This] is critical to us in our own development,” he said.

Minister Harmon also said that Guyanese are eager to see more tangible benefits of ‘green’ living and it is therefore important that moves are made in a positive direction as soon as possible.

“We have a population that is becoming more impatient. They are hearing about this ‘green’ solution… but they want to hear something delivered that is ‘green’… I think they want to see some direct benefit coming out of this ‘green’ approach that we’re talking about and I believe that… we can demonstrate that it can positively impact the lives of every Guyanese citizen at their basic level… We need to deliver. We need to deliver something to them that is transformative in their own lives, that is cheap and that is definitely connected to green growth…,” he said.

The meeting was also attended by Ms. Ndibi Schwiers, Director of the Department of Environment, Ms. Sandra Britton, Liaison Officer, Department of Environment, Mr. Gavin Bovell, Project Manager of the Office of Climate Change, Mr. Muharrem Askin, Senior Energy Engineer, Investment & Policy Solutions Division, GGGI, Ms. Charlotte Chow, Investment Officer, Green Investment Services and Dr. Chanho Park, Director & Head of Programs, Large Emerging Economies, Green Growth Planning & Implementation.


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