By Shingirai Vambe
HARARE – Members of Parliament (MPs) should take a lead in raising awareness on climate change as well as in finding solutions to the problem which is affecting millions of people in the country, it has been said.
Participants who attended a workshop on the state of the ozone layer and the unfolding climate change phenomena pointed the greater role that parliamentarians could play in efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
They said MPs had legislative authority to ratify such important agreements as the Kigali Agreement and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
The workshop was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.
Deputy minister Douglas Karoro spoke at the event, saying Zimbabwe was a victim of climate change as characterised by extreme weather patterns such as high temperatures, droughts, late rains, prolonged intra-seasonal dry spells, intense and destructive storms.
“Zimbabwe, like the rest of the signatories to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, has submitted a set of actions that it would take to address the climate change problem. The country has indicated that it will reduce emissions from the energy sector by 33 percent per person by the year 2030 if international climate financial support was availed to fund key energy projects,” Karoro said.
Karoro said Zimbabwe was also proud to be a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“Zimbabwe has completely phased out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in 2010 and has reduced the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by 35 percent,” he said.
The ministry, Karoro said, will lobby parliament for the implementation of climate change legislation including the creation of a climate change fund, adding that will aid government’s efforts to access international climate finance which is expected to reach US$100 billion by 2020.
Poor waste management was cited as one of the prime causes of climate change, with one participant Elisha Moyo calling for efficient waste management strategies to reduce environmental damage.
Climate change negatively impacts on agricultural production, hydroelectric power-generation, water supply for human and industrial consumption, the health sector and it leads to the destruction of infrastructure.