Mugabe calls for parity in climate talks

By Cletus Mushanawani in MARRAKECH, Morocco

PRESIDENT Mugabe (pictured) has said tendencies towards imposition and dictating to others by highly-industralised countries must give way to partnership and equitable solutions.
Speaking at the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco,
President Mugabe said: “The implementation of the nationally determined contributions is not an opportunity for our developed country partners to seek to frustrate our development prospects, through the imposition of conditionalities or intrusive and punitive mechanisms. Neither should it be an opportunity to seek to disproportionately burden the developing countries. Let us not squander
the Paris Agreement through old habits.”
President Mugabe said the Paris Climate Change Agreement strongly upholds the principle of common, but differentiated responsibilities.
“In elaborating the ground rules for the implementation of this Agreement, this cardinal principle must, in no way, be diluted or qualified. It is our expectation, therefore, that the implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement will contribute to the realisation of the equally universal agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

He said Zimbabwe had welcomed the Paris Climate Change Agreement as a stepping stone towards tangible action in adapting to and mitigating the climate challenges the world currently faces. “Zimbabwe, which is in the process of ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement, is determined to expedite the ratification process and to complete it in the shortest time possible. My country is committed to playing its part in combating climate change impacts.
“We have, through our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country by 33 percent by 2030. I have established a multi-stakeholder high-level committee on climate change whose responsibility is to ensure the co¬ordinated and effective implementation and monitoring of our nationally determined contributions,” he said.
President Mugabe described climate change as a reality taking its toll on the livelihoods of most people.

“As we meet today, the water situation in my country is dire. Dam levels are precariously low due to the effects of the current El Nino-induced drought. Water rationing has been introduced for some communities, while others traverse punishing distances in search of this vitally precious liquid. The water scarcity has not spared both the domesticated animals and those in the wilderness. Food insecurity has increased due to reduced agricultural productivity as a result of recurrent droughts.”
He added: “When we as developing countries call for priority to be accorded to adaption, or that there be parity in the attention given to adaption and mitigation, we do so because it is a matter of life and death. A dead person cannot mitigate for change.”

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