Climate Diplomacy WeekAs Climate Diplomacy Week kicked off on Monday, Guyana is being urged to formulate the necessary policies required to develop national climate plans.British High CommissionerGreg QuinnThis call was made in a joint statement from the European Union Ambassador Jernej Videtiĉ, and the British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn.According to the diplomats, it has been 10 months since 195 countries gathered in Paris to negotiate a new global climate agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the signatories of the historic and ambitious Paris Agreement, which includes Guyana, should be proud of the achievement.However, they noted at the same time that there was no room for complacency after the success of the Paris Conference. The diplomats pointed out that in order for the vision of a global low emissions future to materialise, attention needed to be placed on putting words into action.“Already this year, we have seen encouraging signs that our partners around the world are keen to maintain the unprecedented political momentum in support of climate action.”More than 180 countries have now signed the Paris Agreement and 22 have completed their domestic ratification procedures and become Parties to the Agreement.The diplomats extended congratulations to Guyana for its leadership in being one of the first countries to ratify the Agreement, but noted that more needed to be done.“Ratification is an important step towards implementation of the Paris Agreement, but ratifying the Agreement on its own will not deliver the necessary greenhouse gas reductions, adaptation action and financing. Equally important are the steps countries will take to meet the commitments made in Paris, starting with the policy and legislative frameworks required to develop robust national climate plans and international approaches.”The envoys remarked that they welcomed actions taken by Guyana, such as the Low Carbon Development Strategy and the Green Development Strategy. However, it was outlined that this was not just Government’s responsibility but that of businesses, cities and civil society, all of whom have a crucial role to play in delivering the action on the ground that will really make a difference, for example the work of Conservation International, the various village organisations or the City of Georgetown’s Green Conference and Expo.According to the statement, the EU and its Member States are taking concrete implementation very seriously, and are moving forward with ambitious domestic climate policies, with new proposals that will help to meet the emissions reduction target of at least 40 per cent by 2030 and further drive the transition to a low-carbon economy.The statement further recognised that while the EU has more than two decades of experience in developing and implementing ambitious climate policy, it was cognisant that many of the partners were doing so for the first time and, as such, stood ready to share its experience and lessons learnt for the benefit of others.Climate change poses a special risk for Guyana, given that most of its coastline lies below sea level. The EU has been supporting climate change adaptation over the years, including through its ongoing 10th European Development Fund (EDF) sea defence programme.The new 11th EDF programme will see a doubling of funding to 30 million euros to address sea and river defences and storm water drainage. A pilot programme on mangroves reforestation was funded under the EU’s Global Climate Change Alliance and a new programme will build on this experience by promoting natural mangrove regeneration.In just a few months, countries will gather in Marrakech to start to add the technical details to the breakthrough political agreement in Paris. Both the EU Ambassador and the British High Commissioner underscored that there was much more work to do and they were looking forward to continuing their partnerships with Guyana.