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COP27: 'Albatross' of Western Sanctions Hinders Zimbabwe's Climate Efforts, Says Zimbabwe President

© AP Photo / Peter DejongEmmerson Mnangagwa, president of Zimbabwe, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, president of Zimbabwe, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.11.2022
The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) was preceded by a discussion on the effects global warming is having on Africa. At the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit, which is a part of COP27, African leaders share their visions of the continent's climate problems and its future.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, president of Zimbabwe, called for sanctions imposed on the country by the West and its allies to be lifted immediately. He declared that the illegal sanctions hamper Zimbabwe's progress in tackling climate change.
“Greater progress would be made on our climate goals were it not for the albatross of illegal economic sanctions imposed on our country. We demand the immediate lifting of these unwarranted and punitive sanctions," Mnangagwa said.
The head of the southern African nation described the devastating effects global warming is having on Zimbabwe, especially its agricultural sector, which plays an essential role in the country's economy. According to Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe is working actively to tackle the climate crisis and is to limit its greenhouse gas emissions to 44.7Mln tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030.

“My Government is implementing various programs, including extensive dam construction projects towards climate change adaptation and mitigation for sustainable food and nutrition security. Further, Zimbabwe is expanding the production and use of renewable energy,” the president said.

Mnangagwa underlined that "concrete action" has to be taken. He said that climate finance should be prioritized and advocated for the creation of a bloc consisting of the Group 77 states as well as China, aimed at approaching the climate crisis from the perspective of developing countries.
In recent decades, Zimbabwe has faced food deficit. According to the World Food Programme, 63 percent of Zimbabwe's 15.6Mln population live below the poverty line and 24 percent of the country's children between six months and five years face malnutrition.
The US/EU unilateral sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe have been an object of criticism from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) presidents such as Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as other African leaders. Russia is also a long-time opponent of the sanctions. In 2008, the country vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on anti-Zimbabwe sanctions together with China. In 2019, the sanctions were criticized by Russian Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dmitry Kobylkin.
According to a 2020 SADC report, Zimbabwe "lost well over $42Bln in revenue over the past 19 years because of the sanctions" with a negative influence on most sectors of its economy and the investment climate.
According to UNEP data, African countries are among the main victims of the effects of climate change, such as floods, droughts, and famine, even though the continent contributes just two or three percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
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