22 June 2012

Mozambique: President Guebuza Calls for Defence of Environment

Rio de Janeiro — Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Thursday launched a roadmap that the Mozambican government and people will use as a guide for building a green economy. This will be based on a sustainable defence of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.

The plan covers national strategies to apply green economy principles to the development of the country's cities, agriculture and energy resources.

The President is attending the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development which is taking place in the Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro. The summit is more commonly known as Rio+20. This is in recognition of the meeting held here twenty years ago which adopted a series of measures aimed at supporting sustainable development whilst protecting the environment.

He noted that the survival of people today and tomorrow depends on a healthy environment, the destruction of which would be a crime that future generations would never forgive.

The President stressed that the defence and maintenance of the environment is both an ethical duty and moral obligation, with it being imperative that all Mozambicans and citizens of the planet play their part.

He explained that Mozambique is more determined than ever to contribute to the pursuit of a green economy in each and every country in the world.

President Guebuza argued that the environment will only be saved if it is not only defended but also regenerated wherever possible.

He highlighted the importance of the campaign launched in Mozambique after he took over as President under which every school student plants a tree and every leader plants a forest.

The launching of Mozambique's roadmap to a green economy is seen as proof that the country is moving from words to deeds.

The roadmap received a very warm welcome from the president of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, who praised President Guebuza's outstanding leadership and visionary thinking. He noted that Mozambique is one of the countries redefining the growth process from an African perspective.

President Guebuza's leadership in developing the green economy roadmap was also applauded by the head of WWF, Jim Leape.

As a result of the new initiative, the Mozambican state budget will include an environmental component to fund the roadmap's implementation.

Environmental situation declines

The Rio+20 summit comes at a time when global carbon emissions have been found to be far higher than previously feared.

According to "The Guardian" newspaper, global carbon emissions are up 48 per cent on 1992, when the original summit took place in Rio. The newspaper quoted figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) which states that in 2010 the world emitted a record breaking 31.8bn tonnes of carbon from energy consumption.

According to the newspaper, "increases in fossil fuel use of this magnitude are likely to carry the world far beyond the temperature rise of two degrees centigrade by 2050 that scientists have estimated is the limit of safety, beyond which climate change is likely to become catastrophic and irreversible".

The figures also show that China, which in 2006 took over the top spot as the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide from energy consumption, has increased emissions by 240 per cent since 1992 and now accounts for a quarter of all carbon emissions from energy.

The growing crisis was acknowledged by the Secretary General of the United Nations on Wednesday.

Referring to progress over the last twenty years, Ban Ki-moon said, "let me be frank: our efforts have not lived up to the measure of the challenge".

The UN leader stressed, "let us not forget the scarcest resource of all: that is time. We are running out of time. We no longer have the luxury to defer difficult decisions. We have a common responsibility to act in a common cause, to set aside narrow national interests in the name of the global public good and the betterment of all".

Over a hundred heads of state are present at the summit. However, conspicuous by their absence are United States President Barack Obama, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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