Fana: At a Speed of Life!

PM Abiy Ahmed calls for a collective global action for stepped up climate agenda

Addis Ababa, December 1, 2023 (FBC) – In his remarks at the COP 28, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) called for a collective global action for stepped up climate agenda.

“Agreements have been adopted. We have made good strides in combining the climate agenda with socio-political and economic dimensions of sustainable development. But, the assessment of our actions under the global stock tech shows that we are far from the 1 .5 degree target,” Prime Minister Abiy underscored, adding that this has a dramatic impact on the most affected countries.

“Africa is a strong ally in fighting climate change. However, we remain highly exposed to the impact of climate despite contributing the least,” he said.

“Recurrent droughts, intensified floods and livestock loss are some of the many climate shocks that have affected lives and livelihoods of our people over the years,” he remarked, adding: “For Ethiopia, the battle to protect and heal our planet is a battle for growth and prosperity.”

The Prime Minister highlighted homegrown solutions Ethiopia has been implementing towards reducing emission and building resilience citing the Green Legacy Initiative as nature-based solution launched in 2019.

Over the last five years, Ethiopia established 130,000 nurseries across the country and yearly, millions of people mobilize in seedling, planting and seedling management, the Premier pointed out.

“Our Green Legacy Initiative represents a proactive response to pressing environmental and socio -economic challenges.”

“It reduces carbon emissions, preserves our biodiversity, creates jobs and boosts sectors such as tourism. I am proud to say that this initiative has received remarkable success by planting 32.5 billion seedlings.”

Our target is to reach 50 billion by 2026. When completed, the initiative will become the largest afforestation project in the world.

“The impact of our initiative extends beyond borders as we are sharing seedlings with our neighboring countries. It can further play a catalytic role in Africa and complement existing initiatives such as the Africa Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative and the Great Green Wall,” the Premier added.

The Premier further explained about Ethiopia’s action on transforming its food system, explaining: “We believe that climate, biodiversity, water, people and food systems are strongly interrelated. We have successful interventions planting various drought tolerant crops and using climate smart irrigation based technology.”

“Noteworthy is our National Wheat Production Program whereby we produce 6 million hectares in one year making Ethiopia the largest wheat producer in Africa. This has relieved us from decades of wheat import dependency and made us a wheat exporting country,” he said.

“As part of the Green Legacy Initiative, we have extensively expanded the cultivation of crops and fruits. Furthermore to diversify sectors prone to the impacts of climate change and promote nutrition sensitive agriculture, we are increasing our country’s supply of poultry, dairy, livestock and honey through a program called “Yelemat Tirufat” loosely translated as a bounty of the basket.”

“We have an urban initiative whereby we encourage eco-friendly and resource efficient greening and farming methods. Our sustainable agricultural practice optimizes effective water management and prioritizes investments in renewable energy based irrigation systems.”

The Premier further disclosed that Ethiopia has been investing extensively in renewable and green energy resources.

“Ethiopia has the potential to generate over 60,000 megawatts of clean energy by expanding hydropower, solar, wind and geothermal sources. Our target is to triple our current power generation capacity and double our energy utilization efficiency by 2030,” the Premier underscored.

This will allow us to achieve universal access to electricity, minimize dependency on biomass fuel and provide the opportunity to our industries to reach their net-zero targets by 2050.

Ethiopia has also been taking bold actions in the transport sector, he added.

“We adopted policies, policies to encourage the use of electrical vehicles that resulted in a sharp increase of hybrid and electric cars on our roads while reducing the macroeconomic burden of importing fuel.”

“Similarly, Ethiopian Airlines is modernizing its fleet by acquiring new energy efficient aircrafts. Furthermore, we have electrified railways, a growing non -motorized transport infrastructure and we are expanding our mass transit system.”

“These are concrete examples of action. We are actioning our national determined contribution and our progress is a testament to our commitment to the Paris Agreement.”

“I now call upon a collective global action for a stepped up climate agenda,” the Premier stressed, adding that “the major challenge in scaling solution is the cost of capital and how international financing is structured.”

“No country Can effectively confront the climate challenge if debt is a burden This is why the G20 must work to implement bolder and timely debt relief plans to help the most affected countries overcome debt distress, address climate challenge and pursue more equitable and sustainable economic growth objectives.”

Funds pledged must be dispersed, he stressed, adding: “I would like to conclude by urging all parties to negotiating in good phase and come up with innovative outcomes as we collectively tackle the impact of climate change while you’re here working hard for successful COP 28 outcomes.”

By Wondesen Aregahegn




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