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Sanctions, climate change double blow for Zim

Climate change has increased the frequency of severe droughts and cyclone-induced floods and with economic sanctions, Zimbabwean lives have been adversely affected and development stunted, President Mnangagwa told the United Nations Climate Change Conference yesterday in Glasgow, Scotland.

The removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe will help the country achieve its commitments to fight climate change, he said, and the country was open for investment in green industries. While Zimbabwe suffers from global warming driven by emission of greenhouse gasses, the country is a net sink that is absorbing more carbon than it releases.

President Mnangagwa said climate change challenges have led to an increasing frequency of severe droughts and cyclone-induced floods.

“This, coupled with the economic sanctions imposed on us and the Covid-19 pandemic, have had negative impacts on the people of my country,” he said.

“Notwithstanding that as a country we are ‘a net sink’; I am pleased to highlight that Zimbabwe has revised its Nationally Determined Contributions and committed to a conditional 40 percent per capita greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by 2030.

“Comprehensive strategies are also being implemented towards mainstreaming climate change adaptation and resilience across all sectors of our economy.

“The removal of the illegal sanctions imposed on my country will undoubtedly enhance the timely achievement of our commitments.”

President Mnangagwa reiterated that Zimbabwe is open for business, adding that the Government was ready to welcome and facilitate investments from across the world towards greening the economy and achieving sustainable development that leaves no-one behind. He added that the demonstration of sincerity and good faith by members will help restore confidence in the new commitments made at COP26.

“The importance of solidarity and cooperation to tackling global challenges cannot be overemphasised.

“It is most unfortunate that the impact of climate change is disproportionately borne by vulnerable communities, which have committed the least to the current stock of atmospheric carbon,” he said.

The President said major emitters should scale up mitigation action and show greater interest in adaptation. He said the decisions at COP26 should strengthen the implementation of current Nationally Determined Contributions, that is what each country promise to do.

“It is further imperative that the set emission reduction targets are anchored on supporting, financing and equipping countries to gradually and sustainably migrate from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”

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