Guyanese President Goes Viral After Schooling Journalist

Source: Loop
Guyana’s President Dr Irfaan Ali has gone viral after he put a BBC reporter in his place for trying to give him a climate change and carbon emissions lecture.

President Dr Irfaan Ali sat down with Stephen Sackur, host of BBC’s HardTALK to discuss Guyana’s vast offshore oil and gas reserves and how it is transforming the economy.

It was when Sackur challenged the President on the environmental impact this would have, did the interview became heated.

Here’s an excerpt of what happened. :

Sackur: Let’s take a big picture look at what’s going on here. Over the next decade, two decades it is expected there will be 150 billion dollars worth of oil and gas extracted off your coast. It’s an extraordinary figure. But think of it in practical terms, that means according to many experts, more than 2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions will come from your seabed from those reserves and be released into the atmosphere.

I don’t know if you as a Head of State went to the COP28…

President Ali: Let me stop you right there. Let me stop you right there. Do you know that Guyana has a forest forever that is the size of England and Scotland combined? A forest that stores 19.5 gigatonnes of carbon?

A forest that we have kept alive…

(Interjects) Sackur: That does give you the right to release all this carbon?…

President Ali: No, no no… Does that give you the right to lecture us on climate change? I’m going to lecture you on climate change because we have kept this forest alive that stores 19.5 gigatonnes of carbon that you enjoy, that the world enjoys, that you don’t pay us for, that you don’t value, that you don’t see a value in, that the people of Guyana has kept alive.

Guess what? We have the lowest deforestation rate in the world. And guess what? Even with our greatest exploration of the oil and gas resources we have now, we will still be net zero, Guyana will still be net zero with all our exploration we will still be net zero.

(Interjects) Sackur: Powerful words Mr President

President Ali: No, hold, hold, hold I have not completed as yet. I am not finished as yet, I am not just finished as yet, because this is the hypocrisy that exists in the world.

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 this developed world going to pay for it or are you in the pockets… are you in the pockets of those who have damaged the environment? Are you in the pockets… you and your system in the pockets of those who destroyed the environment through the Industrial Revolution and now lecturing us.

Are you in their pockets? Are you paid by them?

The Guyanese President has garnered a lot of support across social media for his stance.

You might also like