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Lazarus Chakwera blasts G10 countries

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By Deogratias Mmana

President Lazarus Chakwera Tuesday blasted rich countries in G10 for playing double standards in the fight against climate change.

Chakwera said it was hypocritical that rich countries were asking poor countries to stop the production of coal-fired energy as one way of reducing the global warming rate without providing the necessary resources.

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He said this at a press briefing at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, where he was asked about Malawi’s position on the running of coal-fired energy following a request from British High Commissioner to Malawi David Beer for the country to stop coal-fired energy production.

Beer made the request three weeks ago through Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nancy Tembo during the send-off of the Malawi delegation to the Conference of Parties (CoP) 26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Beer said this year’s CoP26 was an extraordinary and necessary event for keeping alive the goal of reducing global temperatures by 1.5 degrees and for raising the finances needed to address mitigations of climate impacts and to help countries such as Malawi adapt.

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“The UK [United Kingdom] is proud to stand with the US [United States] in supporting your efforts through our modern cooking programming to tackle the drivers of this. We look forward to Malawi taking the next big step and to committing to move away from coal-fired power production,” Beer said.

But Chakwera said the G10 had no moral ground to ask African countries to do away with coal power use when the emissions are too ignorable.

“Malawi produces 0.01 [percent of] gas emissions and all African countries produce only three percent while the G10 countries produce over 80 percent of gas emissions and they are still doing that. Where is the justice in asking us to stop [using] coal-fired energy?” Chakwera queried.

The President said there was a need for Malawi to have a proper transition from its current energy sources to clean energy sources.

During CoP26, Chakwera demanded answers from world leaders to people from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) who are facing adverse challenges due to climate change despite contributing less to carbon emissions.

Chakwera, who is Chairperson for the LDCs, said the country that contributes to carbon emissions more should pay more in climate finances.

He also urged resource rich countries to deliver on their pledge to pay $100 billion towards climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.

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