John Msimuko, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Green Economy says the UAE government which is the incoming COP-28 presidency, has committed to reach net zero by 2050, making it the first country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENS) region to make such a commitment.
Mr Msimuko says for them to reach such a target, the UAE will require the support and partnership of Africa, which has been blessed with huge forest resources.
Opening the Africa Group of Negotiators (AGN) meeting in Livingstone on Sunday, Mr Msimuko says it will be important for Africa to leverage on such very important partnerships and key priority as the African continent.
“Adapting to the impacts of climate change is one of the key challenges that Africa is facing as our people, infrastructure and ecosystems continue to experience the climate shocks and economic distress. this can be evidenced by the devastating floods being experienced in malawi and Mozambique caused by the cyclone freddy which has caused loss of life and investments,” he says.
Mr Msimuko says the latest science by the Intergovernemntal Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that Africa will need up to US$86.5 billion for adaptation alone by 2030. Yet africa only contributes approximately four percent to the global greenhouse gas emissions.
“Therefore, let as continue pushing for africa’s special needs and special circumstances even in this year’s COP28,” he says
Mr Msimuko says there is need for a transformative agenda on adaptation at COP-28, which includess ubstantive outcome on the global goal on adaptation as well as decisions to enhance adaptation action and implementation.
He says decisions to follow up on the delivery of COP-28 outcomes on the doubling of adaptation financing.
“Funding for adaptation actions remains a critical issue, especially in the light of challenges in the transition to the implementation of National Adaptation Plans,” Mr Msimuko says
He says Zambia, as AGN chair and in consultation with the group, the country has developed draft governing instrument.
Earlier, Livingstone Nalishebo Muleabai said climate change has continued to adversely affect tourism and wildlife which the people of the city of Livingstone heavily rely on.
Ms Nalishebo said due to increasing temperatures, the water levels in the Zambezi River have drastically gone down which affected the water levels at the Victoria Falls and has further led to lower numbers of tourists visiting the site.
“This means reduced incomes for the local communities that sale some of their products like souvenirs, curios, and local dishes to the tourist. therefore, making them more vulnerable and reducing their adaptive capacity,” she said.
Ms Nalishebo said this translates into loss of job for the youth and tour guides that are employed in hotels and safari lodges because they have to cut down on labour or even shut down operations.
” Zambia alone cannot address the challenges of climate change but it will need for us to work together, multilateral organisations, the private sector, governments, civil society organisations, philantropies, traditional leaders and municipalities,” she said
Ms Nalishebo called for stronger partnerships among all the stakeholders of the African Group in this fight against climate change.