Norway has praised Guyana for its “historic milestone” becoming the first country to get issued carbon credits under the new high-integrity carbon standard Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART).
Guyana was issued 33.47 million forest carbon credits for preventing and reducing deforestation and forest degradation in the period 2016-2020.
Guyana has 18.4 million hectares of largely pristine forest, covering more than 87 percent of the country’s landmass. This gives the country the reputation of having the world’s second-largest percentage of rainforest cover and the second-highest carbon stock per capita globally.
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Last week, the Irfaan Ali government announced that the US-based global company devoted to exploring oil, gas and energy solutions will provide US$750 million for saving the rainforest through a special carbon credits scheme.
President Ali, speaking at the signing agreement on carbon credits said the US-based company will buy 2.5 million carbon credits annually, covering the period 2016-2030.
In a statement, the Norway government said the credits have been verified by a third-party against ART’s robust environmental and social requirements, adding “the announcement marks an important step for how tropical forest countries can sell high-integrity carbon credits for preventing and reducing deforestation and forest degradation.
“I congratulate Guyana on being the first country to issue forest carbon credits certified by ART, paving the way for many others to come. This marks a breakthrough for the emergence of a high-quality global carbon market to protect tropical forests”, said Espen Barth-Eide, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment.
Norway and Guyana have collaborated on green development and forest conservation in Guyana since 2009. In this period, Guyana has successfully maintained one of the world’s lowest deforestation rates.
Norway’s support to Guyana has added up to approximately US$220 million in total for maintaining its low deforestation rate. The funding has provided support to Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), and the agreement was the first international commitment of financial support to the strategy, including activities such as the development of solar energy, climate adaptation, and strengthening Indigenous Peoples rights.
“It is great to see Guyana fulfilling its vision from 2009, to mobilize international private capital in support of its Low Carbon Development Strategy. Norway is proud to have been a partner of Guyana in this journey”, said Eide.
Norway said a considerable portion of the world’s remaining tropical forests are found in countries like Guyana, with high forest covers and historically low deforestation rates (HFLD), collectively known as “HFLD-countries.”
It said while forest carbon market and climate finance schemes historically have tended to focus on areas that have reduced high levels of deforestation this is now starting to change with the first ART credits issued to Guyana.
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