More information has been released on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s planned visit to the United Kingdom (UK).
The President’s planned trip had created rumors and debate within Zimbabwe’s public sphere including on social media.
Such a trip, if it comes to fruition, will be the first visit by a Zimbabwean President to the UK in two decades.
The African country’s political leaders had been put under sanctions that restricted visiting UK and the European Union with relations between Zimbabwe and western countries getting sourer and sourer.
Although there was talk about the visit the country’s officials had not given the purpose of the visit up until Broadcasting Minister Monica Mutsvangwa revealed this at a cabinet briefing.
Mutsvangwa said, “His Excellency the President is expected to attend the Conference of Parties (COP 26) meeting in the United Kingdom where he will lead a Zimbabwean delegation and present the country’s mitigation measures and adaptation actions.”
The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UNFCCC, originally scheduled for 9-19 November 2020, is expected to take place from 1-12 November 2021.
Zimbabwe is a member of the UNFCCC, which is organizing the COP 26 in the UK.
UNFCCC’s major objective is the stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, the gases blamed for contributing to climate change.
Each member state is required to set targets as to how it proposes to reduce emissions of the gases and these targets are then reviewed every five years.
The major thrust of developing Low Emission Development Strategies by UNFCCC member countries is to shift from the traditional fossil fuel-based development to greener and sustainable pathways, including enhanced use of renewable energy, and the adoption of green industries and climate-smart agriculture.
President Mnangagwa will lead the delegation of a country that has developed proposals on costed economy-wide Low Emission Development Strategy as a response to the provisions of the Paris Agreement; an agreement which mandates all countries to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The Broadcasting Minister said Zimbabwe has done a lot more in terms of carbon sinking through the various afforestation and reforestation programs, conservation agriculture (Pfumvudza/Intwasa), and emitting less on its growth trajectory towards Vision 2030.
“The implementation of renewable energy projects in the country and use of more efficient low emission technologies in thermal power plants reflects Government’s commitment towards reduction in emissions,” she said.
“Zimbabwe is currently emitting 0,05% of all green house emissions which is lower than what the country is capturing.”
The African country has however been criticized for not doing enough in reducing carbon emissions with projects already being slated in building more coal power plants which are blamed for releasing carbon gas into the air.