President rallies world to cut emissions

The Herald

Africa Moyo-Deputy News Editor

CLIMATE change has seen temperatures rising by around 2 degrees Celsius in Zimbabwe over the past century, resulting in 10 droughts in the last two decades alone, President Mnangagwa has said as the world prepares for the major climate change conference next month.

The heating, said the President, requires the world to step up its efforts of reducing emissions to ensure livelihoods and jobs are not destroyed further.

And as the world prepares for the crucial 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, that runs from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow, Scotland, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was committed to cutting emissions by 40 percent before 2030.

The President said he was looking forward to his first visit to the United Kingdom for the conference, adding that discussions at COP26 would be an “important step in agreeing a collective way forward”.

Said the President in a tweet yesterday: “@COP26 meeting of nations comes at an extraordinary time in world history. Many countries are still battling the pandemic (Covid-19) whilst having to undertake immense changes to our economies to meet climate goals.

“The discussions @COP26 are going to be an important step in agreeing a collective way forward. 

“For Zimbabwe we feel the impact of climate change more than others. Our temperatures have risen by approximately 2 degrees C over the past century which has seen a significant increase in extreme weather. In the past two decades alone, we have had to deal with 10 droughts.

“If the world doesn’t step up, we will see jobs lost, livelihoods destroyed and people will lose their lives. That is something we must avoid and why Zimbabwe is coming to the table with ambitious plans to tackle climate change.”

President Mnangagwa said as the impact of climate ravages nations, the time for words was over, and everyone must act now. 

“While we will offer to hasten our economic transformation, we do need to remain alive to the shocks of drought and the impact of climate change through necessary social safety nets. I will be appealing for multilateral support to supplement our efforts.

“Zimbabwe has come a long way over the past three years, I hope our presence @COP26 and our commitment to the global fight against climate change will be recognised as part of our ongoing reengagement campaign,” said the President.

The Second Republic embarked on an active engagement and reengagement drive, which seeks to mend and establish relations with all nations of the world.

And with no Zimbabwean leader visiting the United Kingdom in almost two decades following a fallout over the implementation of the now successful and irreversible land reform, President Mnangagwa’s invitation to attend COP26 is considered a “major breakthrough” in Harare’s quest to re-establish good relations with all nations of the world.

Recently, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said of the President’s COP26 invitation: “This is a major breakthrough for Zimbabwe’s diplomacy during the Second Republic, which is anchored on the engagement and re-engagement policy guided by the mantra, ‘Friend to all and enemy to none’, coming as it does after over two decades of non-engagement at that level”.

President Mnangagwa will join Heads of State and Government as well as ministers from over 197 countries at COP26.

COP is a platform where countries can showcase their issues of concern with respect to climate change and mobilise resources to stop further change, avoid disaster and for implementation of resilience projects and programmes.

It brings together the 197 nations and territories — called parties — that have signed on to the Framework Convention. 

All states that are parties to the convention are represented at the COP, at which they review the implementation of the convention and any other legal instruments that the COP adopts and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the convention, including institutional and administrative arrangements. 

A key task for the COP is to review the national communications and emission inventories submitted by parties. 

Based on this information, the COP assesses the effects of the measures taken by parties and the progress made in achieving the ultimate objective of the convention.

Zimbabwe is party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its attendant protocols, namely the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The Herald