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ED: Sanctions Making it Difficult To Combat Climate Change

President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday blamed sanctions for Zimbabwe’s slow progress in combating the effects of climate change.

He was addressing delegates at the ongoing Conference of Parties (COP27) in Egypt.

Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe’s efforts are being choked by the sanctions which were imposed by the western countries in the early 2000s.

“My Government is implementing various programmes, including extensive dam construction projects towards climate change adaptation and mitigation for sustainable food and nutrition security.

“Further, Zimbabwe is expanding the production and use of renewable energy. Greater progress would have been made on our climate goals were it not for the albatross of illegal economic sanctions imposed on our country. We demand the immediate lifting of these unwarranted and punitive sanctions,” he said.

He noted that Zimbabwe will aim to reduce carbon emissions to 44.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030.

Mnangagwa’s sentiments were recently echoed by the Director of Green Shango Environmental Trust based in Hwange, Daniel Sithole, who said the issue of sanctions on Zimbabwe should be included on the agenda at COP27.

Sithole argued that Zimbabwe is forced to rely on fossil fuels instead of investing in green energy due to sanctions. He said:

“Sanctions exacerbate climate change thereby compelling sanctioned countries like Zimbabwe to rely heavily on fossil fuels for their economic turnaround which is against the Paris Agreement.

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“We have the second-largest elephant population in the world after Botswana. We have a rich biodiversity with thriving ecosystem services making us one of the most lucrative destinations to visit in terms of tourism.

However, sanctions brew a negative narrative that blocks funding for our conservation, and this fuels human-wildlife conflict.

Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Paris Agreement to end coal emissions by 2030 but sanctions work against such ambitions as the country suffers limited funding for renewable energy,” he said.


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