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We never caused global warming- Shifeta

by Kelvin Chiringa

Environment and Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta has said Namibia never caused global warming but today is at the receiving end of its catastrophic effects, primarily drought.

The minister was speaking at a Climate Change conference which has drawn delegates from the region in the capital to contemplate on how best to pin on effects of drought and other climate change related disasters.

“We need to tackle climate change issues seriously more especially us in the developing world. We know that we are not the ones that caused this global warming yet we are at the receiving end and we are the most affected by the adverse impact of climate change. Climate change is a developmental challenge. Events such as floods and drought can destroy economies, livelihoods thereby threatening the achievement of our national developmental goals,” said the minister. 

Internationally, Shifeta said, climate change has been regarded as a major obstacle to the attaining of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs for short.

Presidential Affairs minister Frans Kapofi painted a gloomy picture of the reality on the ground saying that in 2016 alone, about N$3.5 billion was needed by affected regional member states that had been hit hard by famine and homelessness.

According to the SADC factsheet about 21.3 million people in the region needed humanitarian assistance in the last year due to drought.

“The impact of climate change in the region has been rather devastating. Thus it challenges calls for effective collaboration to fight with modalities that can ameliorate the effects of climate change,” said the minister. 

He added, “During the United Nations General Assembly a few weeks ago many leaders from the SADC member states emphasizes the need for the international community to continue devising sustainable and comprehensible measures to mitigate the effects of climate change.” 

Namibia is a proud signatory to the famous Paris Agreement that has managed to draw world leaders to find common ground and collaborate on putting a lid to the escalation of climate change.

According to the New York Journal, the Trump administration is considering staying in the Paris agreement to fight climate change “under the right conditions,” offering to re-engage in the international deal three months after President Donald Trump said the U.S. would pull out if it didn’t find more favorable terms.

Interestingly, despite Donald Trump’s state of denial, the U.S has been recently hit hard by hurricanes Irma, Harvey, Maria and Nate in a short space of time under Trump’s watch. 

The decision by the U.S president to pull out of the agreement has not bordered well with Namibia and the rest of the world and Kapofi said “climate change has become everyone’s problem.”