President Irfaan Ali on Guyana’s emerging role as a global leader

President Irfaan Ali on Guyana’s emerging role as a global leader

Good afternoon,

President Irfaan Ali of Guyana told the Atlantic Council today: “We cannot achieve net zero if we’re arguing against each other (…) Any conversation on this matter that locks out the producers of oil, or investors in gas, is not a balanced conversation.” On the upcoming COP28 in Dubai, he argued: “We are going into COP28 with so many unresolved issues (…) You’re going to hear about commitments again, you’re going to hear about pledges—but are we going to hear a report on what we’ve really achieved from the pledges?”

Guyana is emerging as the world’s fastest-growing economy, projected to expand by 38% this year by the IMF. President Ali joined Zeba Warsi, PBS NewsHour’s Foreign Affairs Producer, in a conversation about Guyana’s emerging role as a leader on energy, climate change, and food security issues. They covered a range of topics, including:

  • COP28 and the role of oil and gas in the energy transition;
  • Guyana’s new non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council;
  • Regional prosperity and the Haitian crisis;
  • Domestic progress in healthcare and education.

Watch the full event or catch up on the highlights >>

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In case you missed it…
Here are some key moments from the conversation

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“COP28 begins now with us agreeing to have a balanced conversation,” President Ali said. “We cannot achieve net zero if we’re arguing against each other.”
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“Haiti has been a longer problem than Ukraine, but all the commentators, all the analysts forget that Haiti exists,” President Ali noted. “Haiti has not been getting the type of global attention that it deserves in this time of crisis.”

Guyana is rapidly emerging as a regional and global leader. The country’s growing energy sector, track record of protecting its environment, and role in strengthening food security for the Caribbean have catapulted Guyana into spotlight. With this growing international platform, opportunities exist to shape global decision making and outcomes from world events.

The Caribbean Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center was pleased to present this event as part of the #ACFrontPage event series, our premier ideas platform spotlighting global leaders and championing constructive solutions to global challenges.

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