BY DIRRIBA TESHOME
Action on adaptation is of paramount to foster climate change resilience. As the COP26 Climate Conference President Designate has recently highlighted in his first foreign visit since his full time appointment, action on adaptation is essential to avert climate loss and damage.
And his discussion on how the UK can work with the countries to address climate change challenges according to the press release British Embassy-Addis Ababa sent to The Ethiopian Herald, is a model for other developed and developing nations,.
International communities, especially the top economies, also need to follow the British Parliament member and UN COP26 President Alok Sharma who gave Ethiopia and Gabon a pat on the back for their efforts on Green Economy and value the efforts of developing countries on climate change resilience.
In his visits, Sharma met leaders from government and civil society, and stressed the need for urgent climate action ahead of the important UN climate change summit that the UK is hosting in November 2021, COP26.
Similarly, his visit to Addis Ababa reaffirmed the UK–Ethiopia climate partnership signed by the UK Foreign Secretary, during his recent visit, which will step-up cooperation ahead of COP26.
Following high-level talks with Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, and other senior ministers, Sharma launched Ethiopia’s ‘Influencers’ (Ethiopia, Environment, Earth, Education and Entertainment) Network, a group of young environmental activists and influencers who are working to raise awareness and build support for climate action, as learnt from the press release.
Likewise, in Gabon, COP26 President Sharma held high-level talks with President Designate Ali Bongo and other senior ministers. A number of conservation Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and visited an arboretum and a timber processing plant.
There he learnt about Gabon’s success in, and future plans for, sustainable forest governance and industrialization, as well as the Gabonese Space and Earth Observation Agency through which the country monitors deforestation were also parts of his visits.
The visit underlines the UK’s commitment to championing adaptation and action to avert, minimize and address loss and damage from climate change to protect vulnerable communities from the impacts of climate change.
This follows the launch of the Adaptation Action Coalition, a new international coalition which will turn international political commitments made through the United Nations Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience into on-the-ground support for vulnerable communities, as stated on the press release.
Speaking at the end of his visit, COP26 President Designate, Alok Sharma, said: “Globally, we must go further and faster to protect people from the worst impacts of climate change, and climate vulnerable countries should be at the heart of that process.
I have been impressed by the ambition and determination I have seen on this visit, particularly from inspiring young people in Ethiopia. I will continue to work closely with my friends in Ethiopia and Gabon, and hope that both countries will continue to show leadership on climate action, which has such a vital role to play in the COP26 process.”
As a result, the worst impacts of climate change are risking the basic human rights that the international communities should act on it responsibly and assist the vulnerable nations.
Similarly, on the event, British Ambassador to Ethiopia, Alastair McPhail for his part said: “I’m glad that COP26 President Designate Alok Sharma has recognized Ethiopia’s importance in the fight against climate change, in choosing it as the site of his first overseas visit in the role full-time.
Ethiopia is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world but it is also a country with an admirable and ambitious green agenda.”
In other words, Ethiopia is the victim of climate change without having a role in its occurrence like some of the global nations who require assistance for adding efforts to save the world.
In the same token, British Ambassador to Gabon, Rowan Laxton, said: “Climate change remains a global concern that requires concerted efforts, and this visit has underlined the UK’s support for Gabon in the fight against climate change, whilst showcasing some of the important work already being done here to protect people and planet. In the run-up to COP26 we will continue working with Gabon to build on this momentum.”
This indicates that the UK is exerting all its possible efforts on climate resilient to save the vulnerable nations particularly and the globe at large that the remaining international communities need to further.
Equally, in a bid to realize Ethiopia’s vision of building a carbon-neutral and climate-resilient economy, Finance Minister Ahmed Shide has also met with a high-level delegation led by COP26 President Alok Sharma as learnt from the Ministry.
Perfectly, the government and the people of the United Kingdom deserve appreciation for their efforts on the very threatening climate change and that is why Ahmed Shide expressed Ethiopia’s gratitude to the UK for supporting climate change adaption and mitigation programs in Ethiopia.
Nations also need to revise their policies and legal measures taken by their government to build a climate-resilient economy, as Ethiopia did those the Minister explained to the delegation further noting that main streaming climate change adaptations is specified in the ten-years plan of the country.
Therefore, Ahmed Shide’s stress on that Ethiopia will fully support UK’s effort to make the United Nations climate summit 2021, COP26, in Glasgow a success is essential too in order to come up with binding ideas to foster climate change resilient strategies.
As the UN Cop26 Climate Conference President Sharma said, the success of the climate agenda is important to reduce emissions, strengthen adaptation, increase international cooperation, and making finances available for climate action.
And his expressed appreciation to the Ethiopian government for tackling deforestation and climate change in the country need to be scaled up by other nations. As well, Ethiopia needs to showcase its success as a model for other countries in the region.
The Ethiopian Herald February 3/2021