President Lazarus Chakwera says Malawi needs $2.3 billion (about K1.87 trillion) annually to reduce carbon emissions and minimise the impact of climate change between now and 2040.
The amount is close to the country’s national budget, which has hovered around K2 trillion over the past five years.
In his speech made available to The Nation and delivered on the second day of the Global Sustainable Technology and Innovation Community Conference underway in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates yesterday, the President said Malawi is committed to reducing carbon emissions by half come 2040.
He said: “For Malawi, the financial cost for fully implementing our NDCs [National Determined Contributions] for the period 2020 to 2040 is $46.3 billion, which translates to $2.3 billion every year.
“In short, Malawi is fully committed and capable of contributing to the global objective of zero emissions by reducing its carbon emissions by half by the year 2040. We need your support in creating that green Malawi.”
NDCs relate to a 2015 Paris Climate Agreement which requires countries to outline and communicate their status to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat every five years. The first global stock-take is scheduled for 2023.
The agreement also compels countries to take stock of its implementation to assess collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the agreement and its long-term goals.
In his address, Chakwera said prior to the agreement in 2015, Malawi submitted and communicated its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and scale up adaptation actions through the intended NDC.
He said on July 30 this year, Malawi submitted its updated NDC to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In its report, Malawi outlines its ambition through a broader and quantified sectoral scope for mitigation targets and adaptation measures, including alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The updated NDC, according to Chakwera, outlines Malawi’s post- 2020 climate change priorities and includes mitigation and adaptation targets as well as measures with concrete strategies for addressing climate change causes and responding to its effects.
He said: “It includes five new sectors and subsectors, which were absent from the 2015 NDC, including transport, biodiversity, tourism, social protection and disaster risk management and early warning systems.
“It also includes a commitment to increase the use of renewable and clean technology to meet increasing energy demand, which dominates the mitigation potential.”
Chakwera said Malawi’s adaptation of NDCs covers a wide range of sectors and includes adaptations options by sector aimed at enhancing resilience and reducing risks from climate change.
Among others, they include effective and early warning systems, accessible and harmless water, blooming biodiversity and ecosystems and ecotourism, smart agriculture, livestock and fisheries, climate-proofed infrastructure, buildings and energy systems and healthy and protected people.
Chakwera expressed confidence that the informed and targeted country’s NDCs are proving useful in accelerating efforts in the fight against climate change. climate actions in the
But in an interview yesterday, Civil Society Network on Climate Change national coordinator Julius Ng’oma said Malawi is still lagging behind in addressing climate change due to several factors, including low funding towards addressing climate change and adaptation.
He said: “We are not being very responsible for mitigating effects of climate change, especially in emitting greenhouse gasses. But that does not stop us from doing our part.”
In recent years, Malawi and many countries across the globe have been feeling the impact of climate change and continue to face frequent and intense droughts, storms, heatwaves and rising sea levels.
Malawi’s funding to mitigate climate change over the years has been minimal. In the K1.9 trillion 2020/21 National Budget, the Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources was allocated K404 million.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned that the time to act on environmental management is now “as the door on climate action is closing”.
During the Conference of Parties (CoP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change a decade ago, rich nations pledged donate $100 billion to help poor countries with less emissions such as Malawi to invest in environmentally-friendly energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro electricity. The poor countries have been on the receiving end of massive emissions from industrialised economies.
From Dubai, Chakwera will join other world leaders in Glasgow, Scotland for CoP26. He is expected to speak on behalf of least developed countries who are lobbying for help.