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Sea levels in Guyana are rising several times faster than the global average. High tides sometimes spill over the seawall that is meant to protect the coastline. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

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Ryan Kellman/NPR

The two sides of Guyana: a green champion and an oil producer

For Guyana the potential wealth from oil development was irresistible — even as the country faces rising seas. Today on the show, host Emily Kwong talks to reporter Camila Domonoske about her 2021 trip to Guyana and how the country is grappling with its role as a victim of climate change while it moves forward with drilling more oil. (encore)

The two sides of Guyana: a green champion and an oil producer

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As Guyana seeks to ramp up oil production, it opened bids on September 12, 2023 for several oil blocks available for exploration and development. Matias Delacroix/AP hide caption

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Matias Delacroix/AP

Why oil in Guyana could be a curse

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A man sells phone cables in front of a mural of the Venezuelan map with the Essequibo territory included in the Petare neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, on Dec. 11. Matias Delacroix/AP hide caption

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Matias Delacroix/AP

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro leaves after giving a speech during the closing campaign on Venezuela Referendum on dispute territory with Guyana in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. Matias Delacroix/AP hide caption

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Matias Delacroix/AP

Sea levels in Guyana are rising several times faster than the global average. High tides sometimes spill over the seawall that is meant to protect the coastline. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

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Ryan Kellman/NPR

Two Sides Of Guyana: A Green Champion And An Oil Producer

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A seawall stretches for hundreds of miles along the coast of Guyana, in northern South America. It protects the low-lying coastal lands where the majority of Guyana's population lives. The region is acutely threatened by rising sea levels, as well as other symptoms of climate change, yet Guyana is embracing the oil industry. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

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Ryan Kellman/NPR

Guyana is a poor country that was a green champion. Then Exxon discovered oil

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Jubilante Cutting, left, the founder of Guyana Animation Network, stands with a student from Marian Academy in Georgetown, Guyana. Last year, Cutting launched a project to help high school girls explore careers in digital media and animation. Joseph Allen hide caption

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Joseph Allen
Isabel Seliger for NPR

A Remote Town, A Closed-Off Courtroom, And A Father Facing Deportation

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Pepperpot, a traditional Guyanese Christmas dish, is basically a stew of aromatics and tough meat parts like shanks, trotters and tails that benefit from a long cooking. Courtesy of Cynthia Nelson Photography hide caption

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Courtesy of Cynthia Nelson Photography