Sep 26, 2018 News
The scale of the climate challenges we face today and in the future is clear. The adverse effects of climate change are already being felt around the world and pose a great threat to our planet and its people. Moreover, they could undermine both the development gains made over many decades and the prospects for achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
The Paris Agreement on climate change – the landmark global agreement adopted by almost 200 countries in 2015 – sets out an action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change. It has set the direction of travel for the global transition to low-emission, climate-resilient economies and societies.
Guyana in May 2016 ratified the Paris Agreement becoming the 17th country at the time to do so. The early ratification remained consistent with the commitment of the Government of Guyana to strong action towards the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.
However, we already know that on aggregate the emissions reduction targets put forward by countries in Paris will not be enough to reach our common objective of limiting global warming to well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, let alone 1.5°C.
The upcoming special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will unfortunately show us that the window to stay within these limits is closing very fast. This is why we must continue to raise our collective ambition and speed up the implementation and operationalisation of the Paris Agreement.
This year, governments and stakeholders from around the world are getting together to assess how far we have come since Paris and to look at solutions and possibilities to enhance action under the ‘Talanoa Dialogue’.
Taking place throughout 2018, this facilitative process – inspired by the Pacific tradition of ‘talanoa’, an open and inclusive dialogue – is the first opportunity since Paris to look at our collective efforts so far, as well as opportunities to increase global ambition.
The EU sees the Talanoa Dialogue as a key moment to focus on the solutions and potential associated with the low-carbon transformation, while also enhancing cooperation and trust. We expect to see evidence of implementation of NDCs. A meaningful political outcome of the Talanoa discussions should therefore be a commitment by all governments to reflect on their level of ambition in light of 1.5C and to accelerate pace of collective action.
The Talanoa Dialogue also sets the tone for the EU’s annual EU Climate Diplomacy week celebrated this week.
For Guyana, the impending oil production slated for 2020 is an exciting prospect for economic development but it is important not to forget that climate change is ongoing and the effects are real and devastating.
For a country sitting below sea level, it is important to take into consideration the rising sea levels and the potential threats it poses for especially the coastland of Guyana where more than half of Guyana’s population resides.
On a number of occasions in recent times, we have seen what the might of Mother Nature can do especially over the seawalls in Georgetown. The EU will continue its efforts at practices aimed at mitigating climate change and we will continue to support the Government of Guyana in its efforts.
Guyana is already taking steps in the right direction and the Green State Development Strategy [GSDS] announced by President Granger is most commendable and will set the pace in guiding Guyana’s economic and socio-cultural development over the next 15 years.
The EU commends these efforts and we look forward to the launching and implementation of the GSDS.
As a committed partner to Guyana’s development, the European Union is currently focusing part of its support through budget support with a grant of $ 6.9 billion. This is from the period, 2017-2021 in the Integrated Coastal Zone Management project, which is to support climate change adaptation through an Integrated Coastal Zone Management approach and thereby protect the population in vulnerable, flood prone areas under sea level.
Guyana has benefitted from a number of EU support projects and programmes in the Sea and River Defence sector since the late 1970s. Whereas the 8th EDF focused on rebuilding critical sections of sea walls, the 9th EDF provided a programme of sustainable maintenance coupled with capacity building and institutional strengthening to develop local management capacity in the Sea Defence Sector.
The current 10th EDF is providing support through a Sector Budget Support Programme linked to a number of target indicators relating to policy development, capacity building and risk informed investment planning.
Policy measures have included the preparation of a Coasted Sea and River Defence Sector Policy, an Inter-ministerial MoU on integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) and an updated Sea and River Defence Sector Policy and associated ICZM Strategy.
Low-emissions and climate-resilient growth is possible for countries at all levels of income and brings multiple and tangible benefits for people, the economy and the environment. The EU is committed to work with all partners to continue this journey together.
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