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Lazarus Chakwera demands climate change solutions for Least Developed Countries

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By Rex Chikoko in Glasgow, Scotland:

President Lazarus Chakwera Monday demanded answers from world leaders to people from Least Developed Countries (LCDs) who are facing adverse challenges due to climate change despite contributing less to carbon emissions.

Thousands of people from over 200 countries, including leaders from over 70 countries, have gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, where they want to, among other things, discuss the acceleration and enhanced action to build resilience and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

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The Conference of Parties (CoP)26 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which the United Kingdom and Italy are hosting in partnership, is unique as it also seeks to address the ongoing health, economic and social impacts of the Covid pandemic, which has affected the world.

But LDCs believe that the country that contributes to carbon emissions more should pay climate finances.

Chakwera, who is also Chairperson of LCDs and the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), making a statement at Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, asked developed countries to honour their climate financing pledges.

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Chakwera said Malawi, like most of other LCDs, was suffering from adverse effects of climate change despite not being major contributors.

The President said Malawians were asking world leaders to come up with real solutions to the effects of climate change.

“This is what the people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi are asking after burying the relatives they lost during Cyclone Idai. This is what the people in Haiti, Kiribati and the Philippines are asking after their children were swept away by hurricanes. This is what the people in Yemen and Lebanon are asking as they scramble for water.

“This is what the people of Africa are asking when you leave them with no tools for cooking than charcoal and no source of electricity except coal. And it is here that we must answer them. We must answer them with binding commitments from the G20 to cut emissions to zero. Period. We must answer them with the immediate disbursement of the money pledged to Least Developed Countries by developed nations, which is not a donation but a cleaning fee.”

“We must answer them with the urgent loosening of the debt that strangles climate change adaptation efforts in vulnerable regions like Sadc. We must answer them by establishing timelines for replacing all toxic technologies with clean ones. We must answer them through bilateral and multilateral relations that build green economies. And as you consider your answer, know that neither Africa in general nor Malawi in particular will ever take no for an answer. Not anymore,” he added.

Malawi is one of the climate vulnerable countries that face considerable macro-financial risks stemming from climate change, which threatens debt sustainability and harms investment and development prospects.

A statement from Climate Vulnerable countries (V20) indicates that interest rates on debt of V20 countries are already higher than they would otherwise be due to climate vulnerability.

The report was commissioned by the United Nations in partnership with the V20

Countries across the global are pledging zero-carbon emission by 2040.

CoP26’s organisers intend to ask governments to seize opportunities to invest in a recovery that will build social, economic and climate resilience in the long term.

“Climate Diplomacy Snapshots aim to provide the climate community with a clear overview of what each country should do, on climate and recovery, to pursue these joint objectives and keep the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C. Each has been prepared with the help of national experts and will be regularly updated. The snapshots aim to support climate advocacy in the lead-up to CoP26,” the statement reads.

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