King Letsie III calls for climate change action
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO — His Majesty King Letsie III has appealed to world leaders to urgently address climate change issues, saying the poor and vulnerable groups suffered most as a result of inaction.
His Majesty made the appeal while addressing heads of states and other delegates attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP22) in the Moroccan city of Marrakech.
The two-week conference ends tomorrow amid expectations that counties will come up with a guiding framework to be implemented in the coming years.
King Letsie III said it was regrettable that the poor and vulnerable groups in Lesotho bore the brunt of the adverse effects of climate change.
“Lesotho as a landlocked country with mountainous terrain and a fragile ecosystem. It remains one of the vulnerable countries in the world to the adverse effects of climate change.”
His Majesty said although global temperatures had only increased by less than one degree Celsius, Lesotho had however, experienced in the past 15 years, an increased frequency of extreme weather events ranging from severe droughts, hail storms to erratic rains.
“Regrettably most of the negative impact is borne by the poor and vulnerable groups.”
King Letsie III therefore called on countries to seriously consider appropriate actions on adaptation and mitigation in order to save the ecosystems of vulnerable countries like Lesotho.
“Lesotho’s ambitions to tackle climate change can be seen from her Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) submitted to the UNFCCC. With her own limited resources Lesotho has increased its mitigation ambitions,” the king said, adding such efforts would help the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS).
The King said the COP 22, dubbed COP of Action, was the enabling implementation platform of the historic Paris Agreement which assumed legal effect on the 4th of November after more than half of the countries responsible for 55 percent of global emissions ratified the agreement.
“I am confident that there is enough determination to work together to adapt and mitigate climate change,” His Majesty added.
For his part, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, said the Marrakech conference was a turning point in the implementation process of the historic Paris Agreement.
“Mankind is pinning great hopes on the resolutions to be endorsed. It is expecting more than just a declaration of commitments and principles to curb greenhouse warming and mitigate its effects,” said.
He said holding the conference in Africa was an incentive to prioritise addressing the adverse effects of climate change, which were growing worse in the countries of the south and insular states whose existence was in jeopardy. He said it was necessary to unify education on environmental issues and raise awareness about its defining role in preserving the future of mankind.
“Morocco shall devote its efforts and allocate the financial resources to discharge this difficult, noble mission,” said King Mohammed VI.
Mankind is pinning great hopes on the resolutions to be endorsed. It is expecting more than just a declaration of commitments and principles to curb greenhouse warming and mitigate its effects
King Letsie iii.