President raps developed world’s tokenism
Caesar Zvayi recently in PARIS, France—
PRESIDENT Mugabe has rapped the developed world for trying to shift goal posts at the ongoing 21st UN Framework Convention on Climate Change saying over 147 countries were gathered in Paris to reach an agreement for a legally-binding protocol not to weaken the Convention. The President spoke amid reports UNFCC chair, France and the world’s second biggest polluter the United States had reached an agreement ahead of the summit to ensure that COP21 would not come up with a legally binding, universal agreement on climate change mitigation to curb rising atmospheric temperatures.
- COP21: Paris Summit no stroll in the park
- Africa expectation at climate change convention
- LATEST: President attends COP21 official opening
- Cop21 opens amid US railroading
- ‘Clean up your own mess’
In his address to the Leadership Event after the official opening of the Summit, President Mugabe, who is African Union chairman, also castigated the developing world’s tokenism over commitments they make to the UNFCC.
‘‘We are here to reach an agreement that will enhance the full, effective, balanced, and sustained implementation, of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, not to revise or otherwise weaken that convention.
‘‘We are dismayed by, and reject, attempts by developed countries to question and modify the very foundations of the global compact on common, but differentiated responsibilities; that form the bedrock of the Convention,’’ President Mugabe said.
There were reports that France had offered the US a key concession on the eve of the summit promising that a new global climate accord will not be called a treaty and might not contain legally binding emission reduction targets, effectively pre-empting summit deliberations and the main objective of COP21 which is to come up with a legally binding agreement to succeed the Kyoto protocol.
A key disagreement between the developing and developed world centres on responsibilities to curb greenhouse gas emissions and the funding for such. Africa’s position, as enunciated by the African Union chairman is that African countries are not to blame for climate change and have more to lose as they do not have the money for climate change mitigation.
Experts are agreed that African countries bear the brunt of climate change as their economies are mostly agrarian and depend on rain-fed agriculture. Africa, President Mugabe said, could not take on more responsibilities to fight climate change as that would detract from the continent’s development efforts.
‘‘We cannot, and we will not, assume more obligations. Doing so will dent our development aspirations and, in particular, our efforts to eradicate poverty,’’ President Mugabe said. It remains to be seen whether Paris, the famed City of Light, will deliver light where 20 previous meets failed.
Meanwhile, President Mugabe and his delegation returned home yesterday and were met at Harare International Airport by the two Vice Presidents Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Defence Minister Sidney Sekeramayi, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi; Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Chris Mushohwe, and Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs Miriam Chikukwa, service chiefs and senior Government officials.