Guyana recommits to Paris Agreement as US pulls out

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Climate change remains a serious matter for the government and Guyana will continue to honour the Paris Agreement, Minister of State Joseph Harmon told local media corps at a post-Cabinet press briefing earlier today.

Under the Paris Agreement countries agreed to reduce greenhouse gases, keep global temperature under two degrees Celsius among, other benchmarks.

Today, Harmon, 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, GINA said.

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 shockwaves across the world with his announcement of 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.

 

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