Charumbira calls for end to rhetoric on climate change

George Maponga in Midrand, South Africa

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) president Chief Fortune Charumbira has issued a wake-up call to Africa on climate change saying the continent’s leaders should urgently devise measures to combat the scourge that threatens to seriously impinge on the livelihoods of the people.

Chief Charumbira said Africa is emerging worse off from the effects of climate change adding that urgent action to mitigate its effects and help the continent counter the scourge should be immediately taken.

Officially opening the Climate Change Summit at the seat of PAP in Midrand, South Africa, the continental body’s president warned against complacency on the part of Africa.

“Our continent must move from rhetoric to action on climate change,” said Chief Charumbira.

He stressed the importance of the continental legislative to hold the climate summit which is a precursor to COP 28 that will be held in the United Arab Emirates.

“Africa should go with a common position on the issue of climate change and we hope that outcomes from this summit (PAP Climate Change) must feed into the COP 28.”

He appealed to African governments to include parliamentarians in their COP 28 delegations so that they accentuate growing calls for the continent not to continue being shortchanged by rich and industrialised nations in the sphere of climate change.

There is concern across Africa that the continent is one of the worst affected by climate change and ill-prepared to deal with it despite a miniscule contribution to global warming through greenhouse gas emissions.

Africa accounts for only 4 percent of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change but is the hardest hit amid calls for rich nations to compensate for loss and damage caused by the scourge.

Kenyan President William Ruto, who gave a keynote address at the Climate Change Summit in his capacity as chairperson of the African Heads of State Committee on Climate Change also lashed out at rich nations for making unfulfilled promises when it comes to equipping the continent to handle climate change.

President Ruto called on rich nations to own up by paying compensation saying the continent has vast potential to develop green sources of energy to power the turbines that drive socio-economic development in Africa.

This story was originally published in Zimbabwe by The Herald