Malawi’s President: What exactly is the point of the UN Climate Summit?
Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has urged the rich and powerful nations to meet their financial commitments to the least developed countries, including honoring a U.S.$1 billion pledge to poor nations.Speaking at the UN climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland (COP26) President Chakwera said, "When the nations we lead ask, 'what exactly is the point of this conference?' what they are really asking is this: 'What is the point of having you go to COP on our behalf?”
The Malawian president referenced recent climate disasters to ensure his fellow leaders were aware of the reality those in developing face from climate change. "This is what the people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi are asking after burying the relatives they lost during Cyclone Idai.
"This is what the people in Haiti, Kiribati, and the Philippines are asking after their children were swept away by hurricanes and this is what the people in Yemen and Lebanon are asking as they scramble for water." "This is what the people of Africa are asking when you leave them with no tools for cooking than charcoal and no source of electricity except coal.
"And it is here that we must answer them. We must answer them with binding commitments from the G20 to cut emissions to zero. Period," said Chakwera.
The Malawian president pointed out that Africa has done little to create the climate crisis the locust plagues in the Horn of Africa, the first climate change famine in Madagascar and the water crises in southern Africa are all evidence that this continent is already paying the price of others’ emissions.
“The money pledged to the least developed nations by developed nations is not a donation, but a cleaning fee. Neither Africa in general, nor Malawi in particular, will take no for an answer. Not anymore,” he added.
The COP26 conference in the Scottish city of Glasgow opened on Monday, a day after the G20 economies failed to commit to a 2050 target to halt net-carbon emissions – a deadline widely cited as necessary to prevent the most extreme global warming.