Tanzania: VP Calls for Just Transition to Renewable Energy

VICE-PRESIDENT Dr Philip Mpango has said that Tanzania and the rest of Africa need a just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Addressing the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Dr Mpango said that Africa must be given time to adjust since majority of Africans have no access to energy.

The VP is in the United States to represent President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the UNGA meeting which was officially opened on September 13 this year.

Dr Mpango said “the well-established principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities must be observed”.

He added: “We call upon the lifting of opposition to global financing and implementation of transformative projects in our countries that aim to harness our hydrocarbon deposits for energy and other equally important uses to address our critical developmental needs.”

Dr Mpango further said that “as long as robust Environmental Social and Impact Assessments (ESIAs) have been done and concrete measures taken to effectively address environmental and democratic governance concerns of our citizens, our Sovereign rights to pursue transformative projects should be respected.”

He also called upon transparency in the conduct of carbon credit markets so that Africa benefits fairly from its earnest effort in taking care of the carbon sinks.

Giving an example, he said Tanzania has preserved over 30 per cent of the total land area, almost equivalent to the size of Germany which includes forests and wildlife parks.

Regarding climate change, he said Tanzania appreciates all individual efforts and other collective measures taken thus far in implementing interventions geared towards upscaling mitigation and adaptation as stipulated in the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and the Paris Agreement of 2015.

However, he said despite the efforts, they are observing unprecedented changes across the whole climate system in every region.

He said the most vulnerable countries including Tanzania, have been disproportionately affected and do not possess the capacity to effectively respond.

The VP further detailed that Tanzania has put forward ambitious targets on both adaptation and mitigation through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

“The government spends an average of USD 500 million per annum on adaptation measures and up to 3 per cent of its GDP on mitigation and building community resilience. With the help of the international community, we are committed to continually update our NDCs and making important progress to tackle climate change,” he said.

He noted that most of the developing countries have insufficient fiscal space and weak debt sustainability status to address increasing demand for climate resilient interventions.

Dr Mpango said addressing the climate crisis requires reliable access to climate finance.

He called on the international community to live up to its commitments made under the Paris Agreement.

Enhanced capacity building, technology transfer, support for adaptation and mitigation measures, as well as creation of independent loss and damage financial facility must be implemented in order to scale up the fight against climate change, he said.

Meanwhile, the VP commended the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) for historic declaration that designed July 7 as the World Kiswahili Language Day which was celebrated for the first time this year.

He applauded the efforts of the United Nations in promoting multilingualism as a core value, essential in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union Agenda 2063.

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