Your Excellency President of COP 26;

Excellencies;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

It is with great pleasure and honour I take this podium to address the scourge of our time – climate change

Climate change and its effects are part of our reality. It affects people, economies, and the environment differently in different places of the world. The erratic climatic changes are due to our human activities. 

We in Tanzania have not been spared by these events; sea level rise is eating arable land, our pride, the Mount Kilimanjaro is drastically becoming bald due to glacier melting; all these, despite our resolve to dedicate 48.1 million hectares to forests conservation, as global service for carbon sequestration. Our exotic island of Zanzibar is struggling with temperature rises, salt-water intrusion, and inundation, thus impacting its tourism ecology.

Excellencies,

What does all this mean to a poor country like Tanzania? It means 30 percent of our GDP that comes from agriculture, forestry and fisheries is not sustainable! 

Sadly, the big resolve and robust steps to combat causes and effects of climate change are still slow paced. The Paris goal of achieving 1.5oC is yet to be met while more commitments are required!

We in Tanzania are determined to take swift action as our inaction means risking our development agenda and prosperity. 

We have in place the National Climate Change Response Strategy and the NDC aimed at reducing greenhouse gases emissions, economy-wide, between 30 and 35% by 2030.

On the mitigation front through hydro, geothermal and solar,  we have managed to increase power generation and thus increasing access rate from 49.3 percent in 2016/2017 to 69.8 in 2019/2020. 

Our reforestation rate increased from 25% to 27% 2020/2021 with every year planting on average, a total of 276 million trees.

Excellencies,

If we, developing countries have shown such leadership, why are large emitting countries lagging behind? 

We call upon developed countries to urgently fulfill their commitments, including the mobilization of USD 100 billion annually, implement technology transfer while unlocking climate finance that will trigger planned targets and implementation of the NDCs. 

What we all ought to remember is when drastic climatic changes hit it will choose no location, mighty or weak country, poor or rich country. The time to act is now.