Minister calls for collective climate plan

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Minister of Energy Selibe Mochoboroane
Minister of Energy Selibe Mochoboroane

Limpho Sello

ENERGY and Meteorology Minister Selibe Mochoboroane has called for an all-inclusive approach in mapping the framework to address climate change in Lesotho.

Mr Mochoboroane made the remarks during a workshop to launch the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) project at a Maseru hotel yesterday.

Countries across the globe committed to create a new international climate agreement by the conclusion of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, France this December. In preparation, national governments have agreed to outline what actions they intend to take, through INDCs, to reduce greenhouse gases and identify initiatives to adapt to the changing climate.

The INDCs, which take into account national priorities, circumstances and capabilities, will determine whether the world achieves an ambitious agreement during COP21, and is put on a path toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.

INDCs are also the primary means for governments to communicate internationally the steps they will take to address climate change in their own countries. The project also addresses how national governments will adapt to climate change impacts, and what support they need from other countries to adopt low-carbon pathways and to build climate resilience. An INDC should also articulate how the country integrates climate change into other national priorities such as sustainable development and poverty reduction.

In his remarks, the minister said extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, hinder Lesotho from realising such aspirations as Vision 2020 and the National Strategic Development Plan.

“Lesotho’s vulnerability does not only stem from climate change impacts, but also from the current levels of poverty, which limit its ability to cope with these impacts,” said Mr Mochoboroane.

“Lesotho is committed to sustainable and climate-resilient development pathways that will help build on the development progress so far achieved.

“Being aware that climate-change will continue to intensify its impact, we should appreciate that it will pose an even bigger challenge for  future generations.”

As a result, he further noted, Lesotho had to align itself with the UNFCCC objectives to stop the advancement of climate-change by eliminating or reducing its causes and adapting to the emerging climates.

“I was very much encouraged by the bold decisions taken during the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties in Durban 2011 when developing countries agreed to increase their mitigation efforts over and above what they are already undertaking, provided they get measurable, reportable and verifiable support,” said Mr Mochoboroane.

He added the INDC project would be implemented within the next six months, resulting in a report to be submitted to UNFCCC by the end of September.

Said Mr Mochoboroane: “I would like to reiterate that preparations for INDCs should be all-inclusive and involve all stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society and politicians to enhance countrywide-ownership.

“INDCs offer new opportunities for robust climate policy, culminating in sound strategies to drive sustainable development whilst providing a window of support and cooperation opportunities for developing countries.”

On her part, Lesotho Meteorological Services Director, Mathabo Mahahabisa, said among the objectives of launching the INDCs was  ensuring a common understanding on the various issues covered in the project.

She added it was also meant to develop the national capability to implement robust and realistic objectives, as well as address the technical and legal aspects of the INDCs.

A number of countries have already submitted their INDCs, including the European Union, the United States of America, Russia and Mexico. Many other countries are expected to communicate their INDCs before October this year.

Well-designed INDCs would signal to the world that the country is doing its part to combat climate-change and limit future climate-risks. A good INDC should be ambitious, leading to transformation in carbon-intensive sectors and industries as well as transparency so that stakeholders can track progress and ensure countries meet their stated goals.”

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