Shifeta raises concern over climate change

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Windhoek

The lack of political will among developed countries to scale up mitigation efforts is of real concern to Namibia, Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta told a packed auditorium at the Franco Namibia Cultural Centre on Tuesday evening.

Shifeta also expressed concern over developed countries’ failure to live up to their commitments in terms of the provision of adequate and predictable financial resources to support climate change adaption and mitigation action in developing countries.

“It is a sad reality that only a few Annex 1 parties have so far ratified the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which was supposed to be the basis for legally binding emissions reduction targets for the period 2013 to 2020. This makes it even more crucial to secure at the upcoming Conference of the Parties at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) conference in Paris in November a legally binding agreement to limit global temperature increases to below two degrees in the post-2020 period,” he stated.

He said Namibia is looking forward to COP21 deciding on clear pathways for the mobilisation of the N$120 billion needed to fully capitalise the Green Climate Fund by 2020. “As is the case for most African countries, Namibia contributes a minimal amount to global greenhouse gas emissions, yet it is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of climate change. This is due to the high reliance of our economy and people on agriculture and livestock breeding, fisheries, nature-based tourism and the ecosystem services provided by our fragile environment. The severe flood and drought events of recent years have exposed our vulnerability, and a recent study of climate change impacts could be up to six percent of GDP over the next 20 years,” said Shifeta.

Shifeta said Namibia has been proactively preparing to enhance the country’s resilience to climate change, and mentioned the National Climate Change Policy of 2011 and the Strategy and Action Plan of 2014 as the country’s demonstration of commitment to the issue.

“There is more than enough scientific evidence to show that we are on the wrong path if we want to save the planet from global warming and it is clear that our mitigation efforts so far have fallen far short of what is needed,” concluded the Environment and Tourism Minister.

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