By Tatenda Mujeyi
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) country representatives are converged for a training workshop on country tracking compliance on the Paris Agreement by 2020.
The workshop is aimed at creating locally designed solutions to the climate change issues as called for by the Paris agreement of 2015.
“The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are a major component of the negotiated Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015 to enhance implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),” Hon. Chief Air MarshalI Perrance Shiri (Rtd), Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement said at the meeting held in Harare from 30-31 July 2019.
The training also intends to study how countries can meet the specific qualitative and quantitative expectations by the Paris agreements that are aimed at reducing climate change impact.
“The NDCs are a vehicle towards the objective of the Paris Agreement on, “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognising that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change,” Minister Shiri further said.
The workshop is imperative as it continues strides towards meeting the expectations of the Paris Agreement as countries near its commencement year, 2020.
“The agreement’s binding nature sees to it that countries need to be compliant by 2020 and we hope that we will streamline the information that we will generate here to our respective countries,” the COMESA Climate Change advisor, McClay Kanyangarara said.
The discussion further demystified the myths surrounding climate change as people, especially in Zimbabwe, are experiencing climate change.
“Climate change is becoming more evident and those who were sceptic about it are now facing its reality. As I speak, Zimbabwe for example is still trying to recover from the devastating effects of Cyclone Idai that ravaged parts of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi in March this year leaving thousands dead, displaced and a trail of infrastructure destruction,” Minister Shiri said
The workshop is instrumental in generating preparedness by member states with the Paris Agreement as it comes to effect in 2020.
“As we prepare for the Paris Agreement implementation which starts in 2020, it is critical that we build the necessary capacities to track our efforts in NDC implementation through appropriate means such as training workshops, towards a common understanding of the approaches recognising similarities across the region in terms of NDC focus areas, existing capacities and gaps to implement them and the potential we can have through regional collaborations.”
The African Development Bank (AfDB) guaranteed commitment to the environment through financing and programming that is geared towards warranting climate change mitigation.
“The Bank has an array of climate change projects and funds it is considering as through two projects, a five year programme which will end in 2020 has been running and we launched a new program that will run until 2035,” Madam Davina Malunga, Principal Coordinator of the AfDB said.
The training workshop is in line with Sustainable Development Goal Number 13 and should be centralised if COMESA countries are to meet successes in the SDGs.
The training is being attended by government environmental representatives from all COMESA countries and representatives from UNFCCC, African Union Commission, European Union, UNDP among other environmental stakeholders.