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Suriname’s President Chan Santokhi speaks at the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Suriname’s President Chan Santokhi speaks during the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 2, 2021 (photo by Adrian Dennis via AP).

Guyana and Suriname Might Be Able to Balance Oil Revenues and Climate Goals

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Suriname and Guyana find themselves at the forefront of a dilemma for developing countries endowed with hydrocarbon resources, one that will only become more challenging as the climate crisis worsens: how to balance their development needs with their climate commitments. Fortunately, both countries might be able to achieve the seemingly mutually exclusive goals of alleviating poverty while respecting their commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement. The key lies in their forests.

Both Suriname and Guyana are desperately poor, with poverty levels at 47 percent and 36 percent respectively. Both are also in the early stages of developing what appear to be vast oil reserves, with production having begun in Guyana in late 2019, and Suriname likely to bring its reserves online by 2025. ...

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