The Cooperative Republic of Guyana is pleased to have joined other parties this morning in signing the Paris Agreement of 12th December, 2015. We acknowledge:
• the leadership of the government of the French Republic;
• the stewardship of the Secretary General of the United Nations;
• the partnerships forged by the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the efforts of others who contributed to the consummation of this agreement.
The Paris Agreement is the most ambitious international environmental agreement in modern history. The ‘Agreement’ presents a historic opportunity for the global community to respond to the challenge of climate change in an appropriate manner.
Guyana has signed the ‘Agreement’ on account of its recognition of the need for resolute action to combat this challenge. We will ensure the deposit of the instruments of ratification this year.
Guyana, through the pursuit of a Green Economy, will spare no effort to contribute to both a sustainable future and to an effective global response to climate change.
Guyana is a net carbon sink. Our forests sequester more carbon than the country’s human activities generate.
Guyana, with the world’s second highest percentage of rainforest cover (85%), commands important carbon stocks.
Guyana, nevertheless, is fully committed to contributing to limiting the rise in global temperature to below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Guyana intends to implement initiatives in the forest and renewable energy sectors, including through the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) Plus programme.
We will move closer towards a 100% renewable power supply by 2025, conditional on appropriate support and adequate resources.
Our proposed commitments, through avoided emissions, can contribute the equivalent of up to 48.7 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide to the global mitigation effort.
Guyana is prepared to sustainably manage conserve and protect our national patrimony and place our ecological resources at the service of humanity.
The Cooperative Republic of Guyana, in the short-term, up t0 2020, will:
• improve timber monitoring and maintain a high level of timber legality;
• increase value-added activities in the forestry sector so as to augment carbon storage in long-use wood products;
• intensify the sustainable management of our indigenous communities which own and manage 14% of our national territory;
• introduce a national Emissions Reduction Programme (ERP) to add two million hectares under conservation, encourage more efficient mining and logging activities and implement Reduced Impact Logging(RIL).
• invest in solar power, wind power and hydropower to transition more rapidly to renewable sources of energy and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Excellencies, The Cooperative Republic of Guyana, by signing the Paris Agreement today, demonstrates its total commitment to advancing solutions to this most pressing global challenge.
I assure you of Guyana’s continued commitment to implement this historic ‘Agreement’ to make the world a better place for us and for future generations.
I thank you.