President Hakainde Hichilema says there is a need for the African continent to speak with one voice when it comes to matters pertaining to climate change.
President Hichilema said African countries must come together and orchestrate a single message to be addressed ahead of the Conference Of Parties (COP) 28.
Mr Hichilema indicated that meaningful impact will only be achieved if the continent speaks with one voice on issues concerning climate change.
He explained that Africa has a good case but the polarization of climate change messages has resulted in the voice of the continent not being felt.
President Hichilema said lack of coherence on the part of Africa has resulted in the world not knowing what exactly Africa wants to be addressed with regards to climate change.
“We must be consistent, sometimes we have a good message but because polarization messages are not heard, you know the rest of the world cannot figure out what exactly Africa wants.”
President Hichilema insisted that African Presidents, Ministers and other leaders should all sing from the same hymn sheet and amplify voices in the area of climate change.
He expressed optimism that with clarity, coordination and consistency Africa will be heard on the global stage.
The Head of State said this during a virtual briefing Meeting for the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) hosted by Kenya.
“For us as Africans and other leaders, all of us as a continent we must start speaking with one voice not only at a summit like this one but all the time around the issue of climate change.
“We should sing from the same hymn sheet, COP 28, which is on the way we must orchestrate a seemingly same message towards COP 28,” he said.
“And when we speak as Heads of State or when Ministers represent us, we must sing from the hymn sheet, so that we can make a meaningful impact. So that issues concerning us are addressed by consistently singing from the same hymn sheet,” President Hichilema stated.
Meanwhile, President Hichilema has bemoaned that the effects of climate change are worsening.
He said Africa has been hit hard despite the continent’s low contribution to the global greenhouse emissions which stands at four percent.
“Despite Africa’s low contribution to global greenhouse emissions which is about just four percent, climate change is worsening and making our situation worse,” President Hichilema said.
He said the effects of climate change are visible for all to see as evidenced from increased frequency of flash floods and flooding across the globe.
The Head of State said Zambia has not been spared from the effects of climate change and disclosed that a number of small-scale farmers in the last two days have lost their crops due to frostbite.
The President said this is the first time that the country is experiencing frostbite at a larger scale.
President Hichilema complained that households have been deprived of income as a result of the frostbite.
“In the last two days a lot of our small scale farmers have had their crops affected which include tomatoes and cabbages, and were destroyed by frostbite for the first time. The effects are visible of climate change, we have never experienced a broader frostbite.
President Hichilema said it is very important that measures are put in place aimed at curbing the impact of climate change on communities.
And President Hichilema says developed countries should honour the commitments they made at the Paris summit.
He explained that the commitments were made willingly hence their obligation to honour their commitments.
“The commitments that our colleagues made willingly at the Paris summit must simply meet those obligations, please let’s get our colleagues to meet their obligations,” he said.
He said Africa is already showing strong momentum towards green investment and should continue.
“Africa is clearly already showing strong momentum towards investing in green areas, investments are very important to spur industrialization despite the effects of climate change, indeed we must advance investments that are green in nature,” he said.
And speaking earlier, President William Ruto of Kenya who is the current Chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) said Africa should be part of the solution to the fight against climate change.
Mr Ruto said Africa must effectively participate in soliciting for climate solutions as the continent has not been spared.
The Kenyan leader said there is need to accelerate investment as this is key to addressing the impact of climate change.