PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday said there is a need for global nations to move from rhetoric to action on climate change issues as extreme weather conditions were threatening livelihoods and lives, with Zimbabwe among the worst affected countries.
The President said if the world does not act now on climate change, livelihoods would be destroyed and jobs as well as lives would be lost.
The devastating effects of climate change have been witnessed in the country including increased frequency of cyclones, floods and droughts.
In a statement on his Facebook page ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which he will be attending in the United Kingdom, President Mnangagwa said the country has set an ambitious target to combat climate change.
The conference will run from Sunday October 31 to November 12.
COP26 is a platform that brings under one roof global leaders to come up with resolutions on how to reduce the effects of climate change.
“The discussions at COP26 are going to be an important step in agreeing a collective way forward. For Zimbabwe, we feel the impact of climate change more than others.
Our temperatures have risen by approximately 2°C over the past century, which has seen a significant increase in extreme weather. In the past two decades alone, we have had to deal with 10 droughts. If the world doesn’t step up, we will see jobs lost, livelihoods destroyed and people will lose their lives,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said the country has resolved to reduce emissions by 40 percent by the year 2030.
President Mnangagwa said there is a need for countries to balance economic productivity and dealing with emissions that contribute to climate change.
The President said the country would leverage on its re-engagement policy to seek global partnerships in addressing climate change issues.
“The time for words is over; we must act now. While we will offer to hasten our economic transformation, we do need to remain alive to the shocks of drought and the impact of climate change through necessary social safety nets. I will be appealing for multilateral support to supplement our efforts. Zimbabwe has come a long way over the past three years.
I hope our presence at COP26 and our commitment to the global fight against climate change will be recognised as part of our ongoing re-engagement campaign,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic has also affected many countries in the world.
“I am eagerly looking forward to my first visit to the United Kingdom. The COP26 meeting of nations comes at an extraordinary time in world history. Many countries are still battling the pandemic, while having to undertake immense changes to our economies to meet climate goals,” said President Mnangagwa.