Guyana recommits to Paris Agreement as US pulls out 

DPI/GINA, GUYANA, Friday, June 2, 2017

Climate change remains a serious matter for the government and Guyana will continue to honour the Paris Agreement. Under the Paris Agreement countries agreed to reduce greenhouse gases, keep global temperature under two degrees Celsius among other benchmarks.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon at post Cabinet press briefing

Today, Minister of State Joseph Harmon, at post a Cabinet press briefing, reaffirmed Guyana’s commitment to the Paris Agreement after being asked by local media to weigh in on the United States withdrawal from that agreement.

Minister Harmon noted that the impact of global warming is already being felt in Guyana, particularly in the hinterland.

Referencing the recent severe flooding in Regions Seven and Eight over the last two weeks, Minister Harmon said, “For many people in our hinterland (climate change) is a way of life. They’ve actually come around to understanding that climate change will affect their daily lives and their livelihood.” It is why undertaking to fight climate change is important to Guyana the Minister noted.

In 2015, Guyana was among 195 countries which committed to fighting the effects of climate change and adapt to its effects by signing onto the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Meanwhile, weighing in on the US leaving the Paris Agreement, Minister Harmon said the decision by the US was “unfortunate” and noted that “the rest of the world is going in a certain direction”.

On Thursday, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, sent shock waves across the world with his announcement that the US withdrawal of the accord.

The US withdrawal also raises concerns about financing. The Paris Agreement makes provision for strengthening support to developing countries to fight climate change.

Minister Harmon noted that the US is a major contributor to international agreements such as the Paris Agreement. However, the Minister is confident that countries can mitigate the impact of this withdrawal.

“We believe the force of global push in this regard will see us overcoming the effects of a withdrawal of the United States of America from this process,” Minister Harmon said.

The Minister added that going forward the international community will now have to “regroup and have a fresh look” as it relates to their commitments under the Paris Agreement.


By: Tiffny Rhodius


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