President Emmerson Mnangagwa today, at the official opening of the 6th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, raised the issue of climate change, stating that mitigation must be prioritised in line with the Paris Agreement.
Climate change has been attributed to droughts and other weather related hazardous events that took place last year.
“The African Continent contributes less to climate change yet it is the most severely affected continent,” the President said.
“Mitigation of climate change must be prioritised in line with the Paris Agreement.”
The Zimbabwean leader said climate change is real as evidenced by the droughts that are ravaging the African continent.
Zimbabwe’s 6.5% contraction in 2019 has been attributed to climate change.
“In Southern Africa, we experienced the wrath of climate change through Cyclone Idai and Kenneth in 2019 as well as the recurring droughts,” he said.
“For us in Zimbabwe, the ripple effects of climate change were felt in every sector of our society, with dire consequences to our food security, hydro power generation and cumulatively, projected economic recovery and growth.”
On 12 December 2015, Zimbabwe was among the196 parties signed and adopted the Paris Agreement, a legally binding framework for an internationally coordinated effort to tackle climate change.
The Agreement establishes a global warming goal of well below 2°C on pre-industrial averages.
The Agreement also establishes the obligation of all Parties to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
First world countries have been accused of not following the Paris Agreement with industrialisation leading to emitting of gases into the air at the expense of climate change.
President Mnangagwa said incentives and the need to exploit clean and renewable sources of energy are now urgent.
“Over and above the mitigation of climate change, increased and alternative sources of renewable energy are essential for the continent’s modernization, industrialization and rural penetration of power,” he said.