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Martin Kapenda with Ravi Shankar Prasad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change of India at COP24.I am a church leader who came from Zambia to attend the annual UN Climate Talks - COP24 - in Katowice, Poland as part of the Renew Our World team. Renew Our World is a global movement of Christians acting and praying for a fair and sustainable world for all, with a current focus on climate change. Back home farmers are constantly faced with challenges of either prolonged dry spells during the raining season or perennial floods. This is a concerning pattern I have seen over the past decade. This is not good for farmers and household food security is under threat. Many farmers in Zambia are living in poverty, and this is made worse by the impacts of climate change, especially the change in the predictability of rain patterns which threaten farming. Zambian farmers are looking for pathways to a future free from the worst impacts of climate change which threaten their livelihoods. And as a church leader, who takes God’s concern for the poor and stewardship of His creation very seriously, I must respond and speak out.
My dream at COP24I attended this year’s climate talks full of hope that something good would emerge from the negotiations. I was anxious to see our leaders agree on the rules for turning the landmark Paris Agreement into a reality and then set stronger action in motion. Climate change will not wait and leaders need to take action immediately. Some of the people who live under constant threats of climate change are not even aware of the international negotiations. However, they are interested in solutions that will help reduce emissions to limit the worst impacts, and also help adaptation efforts to lead to improvements in their wellbeing. Back in Zambia, I want to be the bearer of good news and assure farmers experiencing poverty and food insecurity that more help is on the way. With COP24 we have the opportunity to realise the three main commitments of the Paris Agreement which will be part of good news to the farmers in Zambia:
- Holding the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5°C;
- Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production; and
- Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development. We need to see delivery on the $100bn committed each year by developed countries.
Handover to the head of the delegation from Mozambique and their Ambassador to the US, Carlos Dos Santos