BY PIAPHIRI IN ETHIO
With the impact of climate change affecting negatively, most African countries, former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae has observed with concern the lack of clear and concerted efforts by African leaders to change the picture.
Speaking during a Pre- Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa-CCDA III Climate Justice Dialogue in Addis Ababa today, Mr. Mogae said while African leaders have been involved at various levels of the climate change dialogue, there is little that they are doing to respond to adverse conditions caused by climate change.
He cited the challenge of power deficit that the Southern African region is currently facing but with little efforts being made by the leaders of the region to exploit the potential of their shared water resources, especially the Zambezi River, for massive Hydro-power infrastructure.
“For example, where I come from in Southern Africa, we are facing a challenge of load shedding where power is shared in one part of the city with the other, but I think there is more that can be done such as turning to other alternatives, clean sources of energy, by using the shared water resources available in the region”, he regretted.
The former leader of Botswana pointed out that climate justice is not only about calling for action from developed countries who are the major polluters but also about the interests of various constituencies such as the rich and the poor within the African communities.
“The climate justice agenda based on equity does not only blame the developed countries for being causers, but also a question of equity between the rich and the poor within our own countries” he shared.
Mr. Mogae, who praised the work of African civil society organizations on pushing the climate justice agenda, urged them not to relent in mobilizing the masses to demand for action from their leaders.
And during the same event, Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice Founder, Mary Robinson emphasized the need for an equitable climate discourse, fair enough for Africa as the continet is bearing the disastrous consequences of climate change.
“Equity and justice are critical in understanding and framing the climate change framework, as the two factors help to define what climate justice mean to various African constituencies”, she said.
“What kind of a climate justice framework would be fair for Africa?” she asked.
The answer to this question is what delegates for the Third Annual Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa-CCDA, will be deliberating on for the next three days.