President Hakainde Hichilema took center stage at the prestigious “Leaders’ Event On Carbon Markets” hosted by the European Union, an event that featured influential leaders such as Her Excellency Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Union, His Excellency Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain, and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva.
The distinguished gathering also included Her Excellency Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and His Excellency Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank.
Expressing gratitude to the European Union for organizing the event, President Hichilema underscored the vital role of the EU’s support to Zambia, particularly in terms of institutional and technical capacity aligning with the Paris initiative on carbon markets. The President emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing global climate challenges.
During his keynote intervention, President Hichilema shared Zambia’s commitment to environmental sustainability. He revealed that Zambia has implemented a national climate adaptation policy, actively promoting the development of carbon markets. Furthermore, he highlighted ongoing legislative efforts to address climate change, with specific provisions aimed at advancing the country’s engagement in carbon markets.
President Hichilema stressed the significance of ensuring that rural communities, heavily reliant on natural resources, are actively involved in carbon projects. He asserted that for meaningful participation, it is crucial to clearly define and demonstrate the benefits of carbon markets to these communities.
“We believe that for carbon markets to truly contribute to sustainable development, it is imperative that the benefits are accessible and well-defined, particularly for our rural communities whose livelihoods depend on natural resources,” President Hichilema stated.
President Hichilema concluded by affirming his commitment to further engagements at the event, expressing optimism that these discussions will lead to positive outcomes that benefit not only Zambia but also its citizens, particularly those in rural areas.