Cop 28: Set ambitious goals, President tells global leaders
Kudzanai Sharara in Dubai, UAE
AS the world hurtles to the dire scenario where its climate is warmer by 3°C President Mnangagwa has called upon global leaders and delegates attending COP28, underway here, “to boldly come up with more ambitious emission reduction goals”.
His remarks come as United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned attendees that the world is “miles from the goals of the Paris Agreement” at a time the “earth’s vital signs are failing”.
The world is increasingly facing record emissions, ferocious fires like those that engulfed Greece, deadly droughts, all that in a year dubbed as “the hottest year ever”.
In his statement delivered on the second day of the conference, President Mnangagwa called upon world leaders to
fulfil their promises and use COP28 as another opportunity to carve out a sustainable future for generations to come.
He said the current generation must be remembered as “those who took bold and resolute action to preserve our planet”, where developing countries have been devastated by disasters they did not cause.
Zimbabwe, like many other nations, continues to suffer from the negative socio-economic impacts of increased climate change and President Mnangagwa called for stronger international cooperation and collaboration in response to climate change induced weather fluctuations such as floods, droughts, and wildfires among other climate change related ills.
“No country can adapt to or mitigate these impacts alone,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said the ambitious emissions reductions expected from developed countries are urgent and critical to prevent a climate catastrophe.
Developed countries are responsible for most of the damage to the climate having industrialised using fossil fuels for years.
The Global north has however been calling for a switch from fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy.
President Mnangagwa,however, said a just transition, accompanied by comprehensive financial and technological support to developing countries, remain priority.
“This is critical to ensure that vulnerable communities and workers in traditional industries are not left behind and that the transition benefits all, while also creating decent green jobs and promoting social and economic stability,” he said.
Although a radical shift is of necessity “as we propel and mainstream decarbonization”, it must be backed by
“creative thinking and new development models that fundamentally enhance climate resilience” said President Mnangagwa.
“The global economic system, the ways we produce and consume, and the resources we use to support economic growth must all undergo drastic changes in order to meaningfully implement the goals of the Paris Agreement,” he said.
While Zimbabwe has made strides in implementing climate mitigation and adaptation measures such as the construction of dams and the pfumvudza/intwasa programme, its efforts are being hindered by sanctions, President Mnangagwa said.
“The illegal economic sanctions imposed on our country are inadvertently hindering climate action by impeding progress in our quest to address environmental challenges.
“We reiterate our calls for the immediate and unconditional lifting of these sanctions.”
President Mnangagwa called upon COP28 to persist in the mobilisation of resources and adopting clear strategies for achieving the promised US$100 billion climate finance.
Earlier Mr Guterres had said “developed countries must show how they will double adaptation finance to US$40 billion a year by 2025 — as promised — and clarify how they deliver on the US$100 billion — as promised.”
President Mnangagwa’s schedule saw him meet with other leaders such as Kenya President William Ruto, France President
Emmanuel Macron, and Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko among others.