The British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Melanie Robinson says her office remains committed to working with Zimbabwe’s leadership in implementing the climate change policy.
During the recently concluded COP26 meetings in Glasgow, Zimbabwe pledged to play its part in mitigating the climate change effects on the country by agreeing to a number of commitments, chief among them being the need to ban deforestation by 2030 and signing up to the Green Grids Initiative.
Zimbabwe also committed to reducing emissions by 40% before 2030, a move that will be put to test due to the country’s overreliance on coal for power production.
Ambassador Robinson, consequently, is of the view that with more action and swift implementation of key policies, Zimbabwe remains on course to meet its commitments.
“I’m glad Zimbabwe was ably represented at the COP26 negotiations, I’m glad Zimbabwe was there to call on the world to raise its ambition. I’m glad Zimbabwe was there to make its own commitments to a 40% emission reduction, to stop deforestation and to move towards green grids.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Zimbabwe’s national adaptation plan at the beginning of the next year and most of all, I’m looking forward to working with Zimbabweans across the country to turn these commitments into action,” Ambassador Robinson said.
The 196 countries that met in the UK, committed to issuing stronger 2030 climate plans next year in a bid to avert dangerous global warming.
Delegates entered the talks charged with keeping the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature rises to 1.5-2C degrees within reach
Fresh plans submitted next year for curbing emissions in 2030 must be aligned with the 1.5°C goal, an important new requirement that means those governments that fall short will have to justify why to their citizens.
Delegates were also tasked with finding the funding for nations most at risk of climate-related droughts, floods and storms supercharged by rising seas.
Zimbabwe has been adversely affected by climate as witnessed by the recent cyclones, droughts and change in weather patterns over the last two decades.
Ambassador Robinson rallied on Zimbabweans to be awake to the reality and damage that is being caused by climate change.
“I have been following avidly every twist and turn (of the COP26 summit) but I want to speak on the privilege I have had over the past few weeks, to speak to people across this country, people on the frontline of the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss.
“What do you do when an out of nowhere hailstorm totally destroys your tomato crop? What do you do when the insects you used to gather as a delicacy are not there in the same numbers? What do you do when the trees that are so central to your biodiversity and also to life and livelihoods are no longer there and what do you do when the energy source you’ve relied on for years can no longer be used because it’s polluting the planet, is no longer reliable and you need to move to low carbon energy sources? These are all questions facing the world now. Action is needed,” she said.
The outcome document of COP26, known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, called on 196 countries to report their progress towards more climate ambition next year, at COP27, set to take place in Egypt.
The outcome also firms up the global agreement to accelerate action on climate this decade.
Meanwhile, more than 40 countries – including major coal users such as Poland, Vietnam and Chile – agreed to shift away from coal, one of the biggest generators of CO2 emissions.