Guyana, a small oft-forgotten country in South America, has seen its prospects shift markedly in recent years. Previously lauded as a world leader in environ-mental conservation and avoided deforestation initiatives, Guyana recently made international headlines when significant oil discoveries were made in its territorial waters. Using a model of convergence, stasis and reverberation, this article positions these developments historically and politically. In it, I argue that Guyana’s shifting fortunes are reflective of broader regional and international shifts and contestations around post-colonial development and climate policy. The article shows how different forms of vulnerability coalesced over time to position Guyana as both vulnerable and as agential. The state’s vulnerability lies in its susceptibility to natural disasters through climate change, imperialism in the wake of colonialism, and ethnic strife through race-based politics. Its agency, on the other hand, lies in its deployment of its natural resources and its geographic location to negotiate changing geo-political arrangements and efforts to address climate change. In developing this argument, the article views, and positions Guyana as a microcosm of several pressing and overlapping global crises – a metaphorical eye of the storm.
- Climate change