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President addresses COP26 today

President Mnangagwa, who had a busy schedule yesterday, meeting a number of leaders in a major boost to the engagement and re-engagement drive and to build up joint action on climate change, is expected to address the United Nations Climate Change Conference this morning.

The President is among an array of leaders scheduled to address the COP26 today including President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania, Hage Geingob of Namibia, Joao Lourenco of Angola, Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo and Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. President Mnangagwa yesterday joined other Heads of State and Government and ministers at the official opening of the COP26 summit.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joe Biden of the United States, also attended the official opening of the summit with leaders calling for urgent action to fight climate change.

Last week, President Mnangagwa said climate change was emerging as one of the greatest challenges of our time .

“Our country has not been spared, as evidenced by the changing weather patterns and increased incidence of climate change-induced natural disasters.

“Robust national adaptation programmes are being implemented towards mitigating the negative impact of this global crisis,” said President .

“Climate change has seen temperatures rising by around 2 degrees in Zimbabwe over the past century resulting in 10 droughts in the last two decades alone.

“Southern Africa is one of the regions where global warming sees rainfall decrease,” the President said then.

The President believes discussions at COP26 would be an “important step in agreeing a collective way forward”.

President Mnangagwa yesterday joined hundreds of Heads of State and Government and ministers during the official opening of the COP26 summit in the afternoon.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said fossil fuels were pushing humanity to the brink, adding that it was time to say enough of drilling, enough of mining fossil fuels as the world was digging our own graves .

“Climate change is happening before our own eyes. Oceans are now hotter than they were. We are moving towards a climate catastrophe,” said Mr Guterres.

Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, said climate change posed a greater existential threat to mankind. “Time had run out and everyone must act, as nations know what must be done.”

In Zimbabwe, climate change has seen temperatures rising by approximately 2 degrees C over the past century, resulting in a significant increase in extreme weather.

President Mnangagwa said if the world doesn’t step up, jobs would be lost, livelihoods destroyed while people will lose lives.

“That is something we must avoid and why Zimbabwe is coming to the table with ambitious plans to tackle climate change,” said President Mnangagwa recently.

He is expected to appeal for multilateral support to supplement Zimbabwe’s efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change. Zimbabwe can continue to develop and keep its economy growing while lowering and then eliminating net carbon emission but the process requires a great deal of investment and access to technology.

COP is a platform where countries can showcase their issues of concern with respect to climate change and mobilise resources to stop further change, avoid disaster and for implementation of resilience projects and programmes.

It brings together the 197 nations and territories — called parties — that have signed on to the Framework Convention.

All states that are parties to the convention are represented at the COP, at which they review the implementation of the Convention and any other legal instruments that the COP adopts and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the convention, including institutional and administrative arrangements.

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