Guyana’s Head of State, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has once again issued a clarion call to the United Nations General (UN) Assembly to act now and limit global emissions to 1.5 degrees Celsius if the world wishes to avoid irreversible damage to the environment. Dr. Ali reiterated this position in his address to the UN’s high-level thematic debate on delivering climate change action for people, the planet, and prosperity. This event which was held on Tuesday is a curtain-raiser for the 26th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 26) on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Dr. Ali reminded the meeting that even in the face of the pandemic, climate change and global greenhouse gas emissions continue to be one of humanity’s “foremost existential threats.”
“Even more disturbing,” the President said, “is that the world is not on track to achieve the global temperature goals set under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.”
He continued, “Deep emissions reductions are needed, and needed now if we are to limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century. We must deliver an outcome at COP26 that demonstrates our resolve to protect human life and biodiversity.”
For the upcoming COP26, Dr. Ali called on this hallmark event to restore confidence in international cooperation; manifest a revitalized spirit of international solidarity and more equitable sharing of responsibilities, particularly on the part of the world’s largest emitters; and underscored emphasis on implementation and honoring commitments; and decisions that allow for the transfer of financing and technologies to support mitigation and adaptation in small states.
The failure to take bold and ambitious action will be tragic for all, he cautioned, particularly for small island developing and low-lying coastal states like Guyana. Already, he recalled that small island developing, and low-lying states are threatened by dangerously rising sea levels and extreme weather events like floods, droughts, more intense hurricanes and by the destruction of critical economic assets.
He assured the UN debate that Guyana and its ecosystems will play a significant role in the fight against climate change.
“Guyana is expanding its Low Carbon Development Strategy into a comprehensive framework to include protection of biodiversity, freshwater management and the protection of the marine economy,” Dr. Ali said.
COP26 is scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, between October 31 and November 12, 2021, under the co-presidency of the United Kingdom and Italy. The global climate conference will be attended by world leaders, heads of states, royals, activists, indigenous tribes and all other stakeholders involved in fighting climate change.