Consequences of Offshore Oil Development in Guyana

Seawall Public Road, Georgetown, Guyana. PHOTO: Joshua Gobin on Unsplash

According to Guyana’s own report from 2012, the country is “particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts because of its narrow, low lying coastal zone that hosts over 90% of the population… any impact on the coastlands will have serious consequences for the country’s economy, basically sustained in the sectors of agriculture, forestry and fishing.”

Yet the Guyana EPA is still considering a proposal by US oil giant ExxonMobil to expand oil exploitation in the Stabroek block.

ELAW Staff Scientist, Dr. Mark Chernaik is helping Melinda Janki, an international lawyer and attorney-at-law in Guyana point out the potential harm from the development, including detailing the social costs, local environmental damage, and global climate impacts of the massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

“Dr. Chernaik’s expert opinion has brought scientific truth to the discussion in Guyana. This is vital – especially now when so many states and organisations have accused ExxonMobil of lying about climate change. The Guyanese people are entitled to truth not false promises,” says Melinda.

ELAW’s critique of the EIA has made front page news in Guyana three times in the past month and is helping shape the debate. We will continue to work closely with Melinda Janki to help her challenge the project.

Karen Guillory
Outreach Coordinator
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide

For more information, see:

Kaieteur News, June 15, 2020
ExxonMobil’s offshore projects will release more that 12 times the greenhouse gas it told EPA- US Scientist

Kaieteur News, June 21, 2020
EPA instructs ExxonMobil to address troubling environmental concerns about its offshore projects

Kaieteur News, June 22, 2020
US Scientist Cautions Guyana

Government of Guyana, March 2012
Second National Communication to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change