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Climate Change Aspirations and the Viability of Small Developing Countries: A Conversation with the Honorable Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, VP of Guyana

Climate Change Aspirations and the Viability of Small Developing Countries: A Conversation with the Honorable Dr. Bharrat …

Since President Joe Biden’s assumption of office and the return of the United States to the Paris Agreement, a new momentum has characterized preparations for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. To date, several countries have renewed their commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Are the enhanced pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions backed by a comprehensive set of policies necessary to achieve them? Many small developing countries remain pessimistic. Is this another round of “greenwashing”?

This event featured a presentation and a conversation with the Honorable Bharrat Jagdeo, vice president of Guyana, with welcome remarks by David Leebron, president of Rice University. The discussion was moderated by Francisco Monaldi, fellow in Latin America energy policy and director of the Latin America Energy Program.

This event was sponsored by the Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies. Follow @CES_Baker_Inst on Twitter, and join the conversation online with #BakerEnergy.






5:30 p.m. — Welcome Remarks
5:40 p.m. — Presentation
6:10 p.m. — Armchair Conversation


Registration has closed.

A livestream of this event was free and open to the public, with complimentary in-person admission open to members of the Energy Forum.

To inquire about becoming an Energy Forum member, please contact Christene Kimmel, the director of development for the Center for Energy Studies, at 713.348.2136 or by email at

Featured Speaker

The Honorable Bharrat Jagdeo currently serves as Vice President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. Previously, he held the position of an economist in the State Planning Secretariat until 1992. He also served as a Special Advisor to the then Minister of Finance, before being appointed as Junior Minister of Finance in October 1993. In May 1995, he was named Guyana’s substantive Finance Minister. Jagdeo went on to become President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana on August 11, 1999. During his tenure as president (1999-2011), major economic and social reforms were undertaken in Guyana. By the time he relinquished office, Guyana was one of the fastest growing economies in South America and the Caribbean, recording several years of consecutive growth even through the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. There was also unprecedented investment in social services, which enabled improved access to education, rehabilitation of the health system, far-reaching land reform, the biggest expansion of the housing sector in Guyana's history, expansion of the water and sanitation systems and large-scale development of the road, river and air transport networks. New public procurement and competition laws were passed, and reforms to the tax, fiscal and investment regimes were implemented, completely modernizing the financial architecture of the country. Laws to protect the interests and welfare of women and children were also passed during his presidency. 

Additionally, Jagdeo has pursued various levels of work in the international climate change arena since 2006. He has held a number of global leadership positions in the areas of sustainable development, green growth and climate change. He was selected as one of the young global leaders by the World Economic Forum in 2005, and Time Magazine named him a 2008 "Hero of the Environment." The United Nations, in 2010, even declared him one of its "Champions of the Earth Awardees." 

Jagdeo holds a master's degree in economics and an honorary doctorate from the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia. He also holds four more honorary doctorates including from University of Central Lancashire and Trent University.

Welcome Speaker

David Leebron
President, Rice University


Francisco J. Monaldi, Ph.D.
Fellow in Latin American Energy Policy; Director, Latin America Energy Program, Baker Institute




Tue, Aug. 17, 2021
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
(GMT-0500) US/Central


Online webinar