New York, United States – (September 21, 2016) President David Granger was the first Head of State to be congratulated this morning by United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a special “High-Level Event on Entry into Force of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change”.

The event was convened to specially recognise the deposit of the instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change by those countries that have already completed that process. As of today, 60 of the 197 parties to the Convention have ratified that Agreement, which was signed on April 22, this year. With more than 55 countries having formally joined the Paris Agreement, the first of the two required thresholds to bring it into effect has now been crossed. The second threshold will be met when countries representing a total of 55 percent of global emissions officially sign on. So far, that percentage stands at 47.5 percent.

President Granger has indicated that Guyana’s ‘green agenda’ is consistent with the Paris Agreement and the country has demonstrated that it is a reliable partner in the fight against the effects of climate change. “Our forests actually help the earth to breathe and in that regard, Guyana is an asset to mother earth,” he said.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged countries that have not yet ratified the Agreement to accelerate their domestic processes. He said, “I am confident that, by the time I leave office, the Paris Agreement will have entered into force.”

At COP 21 in Paris, held from November 30 to December 11, 2015, a landmark agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future was reached. One hundred and seventy five countries signed on to that Agreement on April 22 at a signing ceremony in New York.

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