Britain implores Zambia to raise climate change profile at UN summit

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British High Commissioner to Zambia James Thornton has called on government to raise the profile of climate change at the coming United Nations (UN) General Assembly climate summit.

Mr. Thornton noted that Zambia has vast natural resources to be made known and can play a role in influencing other developing countries to put in place programmes that would reduce emissions.

He said this when he visited Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Mwansa Kapeya.

According to a statement availed to ZANIS in Lusaka today by the ministry’s public relations officer, Diniwe Zulu, Mr. Thornton expressed happiness that Zambia had taken an enormous position on
forest at the UN climate summit to be held in New York, United States of America.

The United Nations Secretary -General is expected to host the "Climate Summit 2014" on September 23 to accelerate political momentum and catalyze ambitious actions on the ground that reduces the emission of greenhouse gasses.

The one day summit will mark the first time in five years, the world leaders getting together to chat a bold and new course of action on climate change.

It is also expected that the outcome of the summit will inform the process on the formulation and adoption of the new climate change agreement.

He said the level of participation in emission reduction by parties has placed the world on a dangerous pathway with the global temperature increase expected to be on average of between 4 to 5 degrees Celsius.

Mr. Thornton stressed that everyone needs to make an effort to combat climate change and pledge to reduce emissions.

He added that United Kingdom (UK) is the only large developed economy to meet UN targets on official development assistance.

And Mr. Thornton noted that Zambia is a fast growing middle income economy with a growth rate of 6.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kapeya said Zambia is doing everything possible to reduce the emission.

He disclosed that mines were the major contributors to gas emission as they capture the emissions and turn them into acids.

Mr. Kapeya said in order to preserve the forests, the use of briskets instead of charcoal is being encouraged.

He said industries dealing in timber are turning sawdust into briskets that are being used in industries.

He however revealed that Zambia has had heavy deforestation and therefore needs the support of cooperate partners.

Mr. Kapeya said despite government being in the process of recruiting forest guards and rangers, there was still need for support to monitor the forests.