Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa today said he is going to the Climate Change summit in Egypt to press for his country’s right to sustainable industrial development.
Writing in his weekly column in the Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa said: “Zimbabwe and Africa cannot be denied the right to industrialise merely because of the misdeeds of a handful of rich, developed countries of the North.”
“We go to Sharm el-Sheikh to press for our right, singly and collectively, to sustainable industrial development. Zimbabwe and Africa’s low level industrialisation also makes us a solution in that we still enjoy a fair measure of ecological balance and sustainability,” he said.
“We have rich flora and fauna, even though both are beginning to register pressures arising from the global environmental crisis started elsewhere in the rich North. Because of this unique, yet delicate and potentially residual ecological balance, we have become one of the few remaining carbon sinks for a world whose ecosystem is stretched to near breaking point. To that extent, we must be recognised and rewarded as the last remaining solution to this one problem which threatens to consume our species and our civilisation.”
Today, November 6, I leave for Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to join other world leaders attending the 27th edition of Conference of Parties, COP27. The previous one took place a year ago in Glasgow, the United Kingdom. Again, I represented our country at this important convocation at which the pressing global issue of climate change is discussed.
Since COP26, the global warming crisis has worsened, putting our whole planet and our species in great, apocalyptic danger. There is thus great urgency on this one matter if humanity, its civilisation and its habitat — the Earth — are to be saved. Zimbabwe thus cannot be indifferent to this existential threat, or to any forum meant to avert it.
For the first time, the Conference of Parties is being held on our Continent. COP27 is thus a continental concern and opportunity. For us, COP27 underscores our dual status as a victim and a solution to this global problem on hand. Alongside many countries on our continent, Zimbabwe has been experiencing unsettling shifts in climate which threaten every facet of our lives and livelihoods. We are an agricultural country, meaning we are most at risk in this catastrophe which has no frontline globally. The cyclone we suffered in 2019 was a consequence of a broken global climate; it cost us heavily by way of broken infrastructure,several hundreds of lives that were lost and displaced, and by way of destroyed livelihoods running into billions of dollars. We were largely left alone to grieve and bear the burden of repairing our lives.
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