Video of Guyana’s president snapping back at BBC reporter’s climate quiz goes viral: ‘Let me stop you’


A video of Guyana President Mohamed Irfaan Ali blasting a BBC reporter for trying to lecture him about climate change went viral this week.

In an interview with BBC journalist Stephen Sackur, the world leader rejected the reporter’s insinuation that his country will be contributing to climate change by allowing for oil extraction off its coast.

As Sackur implied that Guyana was in the wrong for doing so, asking the leader if he has "the right" to drill, an animated President Ali put his hand up and cut him off, asking, "Does that give you the right to lecture us on climate change?"

The exchange began with Sackur asking Ali about the carbon emission rates that will come from Guyana’s push to extract fossil fuels along its coast.

"Let’s take a big picture of what’s going on here," he began. "Over the next decade, two decades, it is expected that there will be $150 billion worth of oil and gas extracted off your coast. It’s an extraordinary figure."

Sackur followed up with criticism, saying, "But think of it in practical terms: that means, according to many experts, more than two billion tons of carbon emissions will come from your seabed, from those reserves and be released into the atmosphere."

As the reporter began asking the head of state whether he attended a recent international climate conference, the president held up his hand and said, "Let me stop you right there. Let me stop you right there."

The president proceeded to turn the tables on the reporter, defending his country’s record of taking care of the environment and later accusing western countries of hurting it.

"Do you know that Guyana has a forest, forever, that is the size of England and Scotland combined? A forest that stores 19.5 gigatons of carbon, a forest that we have kept alive, a forest that we have kept alive?"... (Read more)

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