The Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Hon. Eng. Collins Nzovu MP, has called upon the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to recognize the legitimate right of African nations to pursue and attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Speaking at a Ministerial roundtable during the Africa Climate Summit, Hon. Nzovu emphasized the importance of a comprehensive and equitable approach to addressing climate change.
Africa, a continent vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, is seeking a COP28 outcome that acknowledges its unique position and challenges. The Hon. Minister stressed that any COP28 agreement should be grounded in the findings from the technical dialogue and provide clear guidance on how to collectively align with just and equitable pathways toward achieving the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius without overshooting.
“The COP28 outcome must be comprehensive and balanced, and reflect equity and fairness. It should recognize the legitimate right of African countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” he stated.
Hon. Nzovu also highlighted the need for COP28 to deliver on adaptation measures, expressing Africa’s anticipation for the successful conclusion of the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA). He urged for the inclusion of clear adaptation targets and indicators to facilitate adaptation actions and enhance the ability of participating countries to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change.
Furthermore, the Minister called upon developed nations to make use of scientific data and close the pre-2020 Gap in their efforts to strengthen their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This step is seen as crucial to limiting global temperature rise to the agreed-upon 1.5 degrees Celsius target.
Hon. Nzovu also stressed the importance of transitioning subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, a move critical for sustainable development and climate action. Expressing gratitude for the just transition pathways work program, he regarded it as an invaluable tool for global climate action and sustainable development, speaking on behalf of the African Group.
“On mitigation aspects of the decision, our ability to exploit our natural resources and endowment to finance SDGs must be safeguarded. The pathway for fossil fuel phasedown must also be equitable and provide for a regime where no new development licenses are issued in rich developed countries, with African countries that are dependent on fossil fuel revenues and with new fossil fuel finds afforded space to close the global energy supply gap,” he affirmed.
In conclusion, Hon. Nzovu urged ministers to prioritize the resolution of political issues that could facilitate ambitious and successful outcomes in COP28. He emphasized that addressing these political issues would further the progress of technical negotiations and ministerial engagement.
As the international community gears up for COP28, the call from African leaders, such as Hon. Eng. Collins Nzovu, underscores the importance of a collective and equitable approach to tackling climate change while ensuring that Africa’s development goals remain on track.