November 25, 2017

Statement by H.E. Mr. Nicos Kouyialis Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment

High-level Signature Ceremony for the Paris AgreementΚουγιάλης 2

New York, 22 April 2016

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Firstly, I would like to express my appreciation to the UN Secretary General for hosting this important event in New York.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Paris Agreement on climate is deemed the landmark for combating climate change as it represents an ambitious, balanced, equitable and legally binding agreement.

The adoption of the Agreement and the announcement by the end of COP21 of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions by 187 Parties marked a decisive turning point towards comprehensive and collective global action, and when implemented, will definitely and irreversibly accelerate the transition to a climate resilient, climate neutral global economy.

We, therefore, congratulate the Parties to the Convention, the United Nations and the Peruvian and French COP Presidencies for their tireless efforts and successful work, leading to the achievement of the Paris Agreement. We also express our support to the Moroccan COP22 Presidency.

Excellencies,

Cyprus is a Mediterranean island state, located in an area that is already experiencing the first serious effects of climate change. We have been witnessing prolonged periods of drought, increased temperatures, degradation of forests and rare ecosystems. Hence, we are called upon to formulate our national response to climate change within these very difficult circumstances.

Cyprus has only become an Annex One and a Kyoto Protocol Party in 2013. In this context, we fully comply with the commitments and expectations of the International Community and the European Union and we actively participate in the joint efforts to protect the climate of our planet and secure the future of our people.

Recognising the importance of climate change, it has been included as one of the goals of our newly developed national development plan. Within the following years, we plan to implement a number of mitigation and adaptation policies and measures.

We have already ratified the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol establishing the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol from 2013 until 2020.

We have also collectively with EU and its Members States submitted our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution which is a binding target of a domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 and we are collectively providing the adequate means of implementation for mitigation and adaptation action in developing countries including a particular focus on support to the poorest, most vulnerable and those with the least ability to mobilise other resources.

We are devoted to further continue our climate action including scaling up the mobilization of climate finance in the context of a meaningful mitigation actions and transparency of implementation. Our President announced in Paris that the Republic of Cyprus, taking up its global responsibility, its current problems notwithstanding , has contributed to the Green Climate Fund the sum of 350 000 euros.

Dear friends,

We have to make efforts to accelerate climate action before 2020 by drawing on the ingenuity, resources and efforts of all sectors of society. We have to develop urgently the roadmap for increasing ambition, over time, to achieve the overall aim of limiting the increase of global temperature below 2°C.

The Paris Agreement is of critical importance and should be a historic milestone for enhancing global collective action and accelerating the global transformation to a low carbon and climate resilient society. Recognising its importance, we have already started the process for its ratification.

Thank you.