The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have asked their developed counterparts to commit themselves in cutting down on carbon emission saying its impact on climate change is more devastating on the LDCs.
President Peter Mutharika on Monday told Malawian journalists in Madrid, Spain at the 25th Session of the Conference of Parties (CoP 25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that the LCDs made the request during a roundtable dialogue of heads of state and government.
At least 36 heads of state and government from around the world including six from Africa attended the conference's opening ceremony and participated in the dialogue.
Mutharika, chair of the LDCs, said they discussed the plight of LDCs in Africa, Asia, the Pacific region and the Caribbean in the wake of climate change.
LDCs are a group of 47 low-income countries highly vulnerable to a changing climate, as well as other economic and environmental shocks. Despite contributing the least to climate change, at less than 1% of global CO2 emissions, LDCs are demonstrating international leadership in enhancing their climate action in response to the challenges they face.
Mutharika said the LDCs noted that they are the most affected by climate change despite contributing about five per cent of emissions only.
"Over 90 per cent of emissions is contributed by developed countries. So, we asked them to cut down on carbon emissions and promote clean energy.
"I talked about the least developed countries; some are islands and water levels are going up in that some islands may disappear. Global warming is real," Mutharika said.
This year's climate change conference slated for December 2 to 23,2019 is aimed at assessing progress made in the implementation of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement to cut greenhouse gases emissions.
To this effect, Mutharika said the main meetings, which would be attended by technocrats, would discuss climate change adaptation and how to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
"These are important matters worth discussing because climate change is affecting livelihoods," he said.
The Malawi leader said the world needs to promote clean energy like use of solar power and discourage the use of fossil fuels such as wood, oil and coal.
He said Malawi is already promoting the use of clean energy.
"We have removed taxes on solar power systems, energy efficient bulbs and liquefied petroleum gas cylinders.
"We have imposed a carbon tax on all motor vehicles as a way of managing vehicular emissions," Mutharika said.
The President said the country has developed a Forest Restoration Strategy, deploying the Youth as key agents in climate change management under a Youth Afforestation Programme to restore 4.5 million hectares of degraded forest land.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres said in his opening speech for that it was pleasing that some countries were working towards meeting zero emissions by 2050.
"I am pleased to see governments and investors backing their way from fossil fuels. A recent example is the European Investment Bank which has announced that it will stop funding fossil fuel projects by the end of 2021," he explained.
Gutteres said there was need for transformative movement from most G20 countries which represent more than three quarters of global emissions.
"Something needs to be done going forward. Primarily all the main emitters must do more. This means enhancing their national determined contributions in 2020 under the Paris Agreement," the UN chief said.
Meanwhile, Mutharika returns home Tuesday and is expected to arrive at Kamuzu International Airport around 4:30 pm.