By Elias Ntungwe Ngalame
African civil society groups at the 22nd Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 22) in Marrakech have called on US president elect, Donald Trump to issue a statement denouncing his twitter comment about global warming, failure to which they will join other movements campaigning for the reversal of his election.
“Mr. Trump must issue a statement reassuring the international community that his twitter remarks were just but campaign rhetoric, else, we will not tolerate any leaser who seeks to derail gains already made in the fight against climate change,” said Mithika Mwenda the Secretary General for Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) at a press conference in Marrakech.
Trump came under heavy criticisms especially from his opponent Hillary Clinton during their race to the Oval Office, following his remarks on twitter that; “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
In one of the presidential debates, Trump further said that the issue of climate change is an issue that requires further probing, and that money used to fight the phenomenon should be channeled to other uses.
“There is still much that needs to be investigated in the field of climate change. Perhaps the best use of our limited financial resources should be in dealing with making sure that every person in the world has clean water. Perhaps we should focus on eliminating lingering diseases around the world like malaria,” said the republican nominee.
Perhaps, he continued, “We should focus on efforts to increase food production to keep pace with an ever-growing world population. Perhaps we should be focused on developing energy sources and power production that alleviates the need for dependence on fossil fuels. We must decide on how best to proceed so that we can make lives better, safer and more prosperous,” he added.
And now that the American people have given him the key to the White House, civil societies and other interested parties all over the world are worried that his position and views towards climate change may carry the day, hence, lead to the withdrawal of US from the climate negotiation processes.
America is one of the world’s top three emitters of greenhouse gases, which are responsible for global warming.
By 2011, the top carbon dioxide (CO2) emitters were China, the United States, the European Union, India, the Russian Federation, Japan, and Canada. These data include CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, as well as cement manufacturing and gas flaring. Together, these sources represent a large proportion of total global CO2 emissions.
“Africa is the lease emitter of these gases, yet the continent is the most affected by climate change,” said Mithika.
In that regard, as the Marrakech negotiations comes to a close, the African Civil Society has called on leaders to accelerate momentum on climate action with the coming into force of the Paris Agreement.