Jafo: These will be Tanzania’s priorities at COP26 - Glasgow

12Oct 2021
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Jafo: These will be Tanzania’s priorities at COP26 - Glasgow

TANZANIA will have seven items on its list of priorities during the upcoming 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), chiefly calling on the international community to adhere to standing agreements on mitigation efforts.

Selemani Jafo, Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office (Union Affairs and Environment), said here yesterday that the country’s official position is that there should be global consensus on the importance of unconditionally observing the Paris Agreement.

The conference is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, the UK, from October 31 to November 12.

Jafo explained that rich countries have promised that they would work towards raising US$100bn/- each year up to 2025 to help other countries tackle challenges associated with climate change, calling on them to keep their word.

He said the other point on which there was agreement was the need to work together to technologically enable and encourage countries affected by climate change to protect and restore ecosystems, build defences, put in place warning systems and make infrastructure and agriculture more resilient to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and lives.

“Tanzania calls on developed countries and international organisations to ensure that this is done in effort to help developing nations also contribute in climate change mitigation programmes,” he added.

The minister also talked of the commitment that all countries that are party to the Paris Agreement would work together to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and aim for 1.5 degrees Celsius, to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate and to make money available to deliver on these aims.

He said the particular commitment was important “because every fraction of a degree of warming results in the tragedy of seeing many lives lost and livelihoods damaged”.

Alluding further to the Paris Agreement, Jafo said all countries had agreed to communicate or update their nationally determined contributions in carbon emissions reduction targets every five years to reflect their highest possible ambitions and a progression over time.

He said the targets set out “how far countries planned to reduce emissions across their entire economy and/or in specific sectors”, admitting that targets were important but it was crucial that they “translate into action, fast”

Commenting on the link between gender and climate change, the minister said that women commonly face higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts of climate change in situations of poverty, the majority of the world’s poor being women.

“In this context, Tanzania advocates the implementation of a five-year plan meant to advance knowledge and understanding of gender-responsive climate action and its coherent mainstreaming,” he said.

The minister explained that the government is working hard to help reduce the effects of climate change in the country, and has allocated 362bn/- in financial year 2021/2022 towards the goal.

Other efforts, he said, include the implementation of various projects such as construction of reinforced concrete walls in Dar es Salaam to stop erosion along Indian Ocean beaches as well as at Pangani in Tanga Region and Panza in Zanzibar.

He added that Tanzania’s participation in COP26 is expected to earn the country a range of benefits, among them financial resources and expertise that will help in the implementation of various development projects.

The Paris Agreement, often referred to as the Paris Accords or the Paris Climate Accords, is a legally binding international treaty on climate change.

It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris on December 12, 2015 and entered into force on November 4, 2016.

Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. Accordingly, it covers climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance.

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