I will lecture you on climate change: Guyanese President Irfaan Ali blasts BBC reporter on carbon emissions question

Guyanese President Irfaan Ali did not mince words while answering a BBC reporter who asked him about the country’s carbon emissions as it plans to extract oil and gas from its coast. In a viral video of the heated exchange, Ali stops the BBC reporter and questions whether he had the “right to lecture on climate change” and if he was in the “pockets of those who destroy the environment through the industrial revolution and are now lecturing us”.

The BBC reporter, citing reports, said the extraction of oil and gas will lead to more than two billion tonnes of carbon emissions from Guyana’s coast.

As he asks whether Irfaan Ali attended the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, the Guyanese President interjects and says, “Let me stop you right there. Do you know that Guyana has a forest cover that is the size of England and Scotland combined? A forest that stores 19.5 gigatons of carbon. Forests that we have kept alive.”

The reporter then questioned if that gives Guyana “the right to release all of this carbon”.

Irfaan Ali did not wait for the reporter to finish before he retorted, “Does that give you the right to lecture us on climate change? I am going to lecture you on climate change because we have kept this forest alive that stores 19.5 gigatons of carbon that you enjoy, that the world enjoys.”

He pointed out that Guyana has the lowest deforestation rate in the world, and added, “Even with our greatest exploration of the oil and gas resources we have now, we will still be net-zero (in emissions).”

The Guyanese President added that his country is not paid for the forests that the country’s people have kept alive.

“The world in the last 50 years has lost 65 per cent of all its biodiversity. We have kept our biodiversity. Are you valuing it? Are you ready to pay for it? When will the developed world pay for it? Or are you in their pockets? Are you in the pockets of those who have damaged the environment? Are you in the pockets of those who destroyed the environment through the Industrial Revolution and are now lecturing us? Are you paid by them?” asked Irfaan Ali in a sharp tone.

He pointed out that “there exists a hypocrisy in the world” when it comes to developing countries exploring their oil and gas reserves.

The video of Irfaan Ali schooling the reporter has gone viral with many commending him for his forthright manner of pointing out the “hypocrisy” against developing countries.

Published By:

chingkheinganbi mayengbam

Published On:

Mar 29, 2024

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