Former President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday received an Honorary Doctorate from the sixth largest university in the United Kingdom, the University of Central Lancashire, according to the Government Information Agency.
It was conferred in recognition of his global leadership on climate change, low carbon development and green growth. He was presented with the doctorate by the University’s Vice Chancellor, Malcolm Mc Arthur, GINA added.
A citation read described the former President as “one of the first Heads of State in the world to grasp the seriousness and urgency of climate change”. The citation added “almost uniquely in the world, he also saw that developing countries could lead the way to the solutions that the world needs.”
The citation drew attention to Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy, describing it as “one of the world’s most comprehensive green growth plans” – and saying that “the scale of ambition is greater than that of even the most progressive developed countries, including the United Kingdom… It is truly a model for the world.” The University’s citation also drew attention to the words of the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr R.K Pachauri who said that the former President was “one of perhaps half a dozen heads of Government who truly understands the issue” of global warming.
The former President, in his address, urged students “not to sleepwalk through their lives… and to keep a focus on the big issues.” He spoke of his understanding of their immediate concerns – as they looked for jobs and strived to pay off student loans. But he said that “the future of the world requires that you also focus on the big issues – and fix the big problems so that they don’t recur”.
GINA said he highlighted two important areas that threatened future employment and prosperity – the risk that global financial crises would happen again, and the ongoing risk of climate disaster.
To address these risks, he said that young people’s energy and creativity were needed to achieve reform of the global financial architecture, and to find ways to combat climate change. The former President paid tribute to Guyana’s efforts on low carbon development and described the country’s efforts to provide a global model for non-polluting development.