Maputo — Maputo Municipal Council has declared its determination to speed up "decarbonisation" of transport and to achieve the goal of "zero net emissions".
To this end, the Mayor of Maputo, Eneas Comiche, and the Portuguese Environment Minister, Joao Matos Fernandes, who is also chairperson of the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance (TDA), signed in Maputo on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding on promoting decarbonisation.
Comiche declared that in signing the memorandum "we are aware of the direct and indirect impact of climate change on cities. We are aware of the negative effects on human health, infrastructures and services, economic activities and social systems".
He stressed that this was a major commitment by the Maputo municipality, which in coordination with the central Mozambican authorities, is promoting debate on climate change and decarbonisation.
"Local governments, who are in the front line in the struggle against climate change, are essential partners in achieving the objective of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases", he said. Local governments were a level of intervention "to find solutions and to mobilise local stakeholders".
The Portuguese minister said that Maputo is the first African city to associate itself with the Decarbonisation Alliance. He warned that without firm commitment and political will from all African countries, then emissions of greenhouse gases will continue to rise.
The Alliance, Fernandes added, fixes no rules, and imposes nothing on anybody. Instead it is a body that encourages good practices so that public transport is undertaken by vehicles powered, not by petrol or diesel, but by gas, and later by electricity.
Public transport in cities such as Maputo, he said, should depend on new buses, and ones that produce lower emissions.