By Ismael Kasooha
President Yoweri Museveni has said Uganda’s biodiversity presents opportunities for adaptation and mitigation to greatly contribute to the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The President said that Uganda looks forward to the Loss and Damage Fund that is accessible, free from the bureaucracy of the multilateral Development Banks and debt trap.
R-L, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, Sam Cheptoris minister for water and environment and Henry Okello Oryem the State Minister for Foreign Affiars at the COP28 summit in Dubai
“While Uganda’s natural biodiversity presents important opportunities for adaptation and mitigation that can greatly contribute to the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of up to 24.7% by the year 2030, it is highly vulnerable to climatic shocks,” Museveni said in a statement delivered by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja at the COP28 summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Saturday.
He added that some parts of Uganda have recently experienced floods, landslides, and prolonged drought as well as rising temperatures yet the country contributes only 0.01% of global emissions.
“We therefore appeal for partnerships to offset these climate change costs,” the President said.
The delegates at the COP28 agreed to establish the Loss and Damage Fund to support vulnerable countries to combat climate change as the summit opened last week. Developing countries contribute the least to the global climate change crisis, but are grappling with floods, droughts, and other climate change-related effects.
Museveni added that Uganda is mindful of the rampant degradation and the associated impacts that are escalating climate change. As a result, the Government of Uganda has come up with policies to protect and preserve our environment and biodiversity, he stated.
“Since these provide global benefits in mitigating climate change, we invite partnerships and support to protect and conserve these nature-based solutions to climate change,” he said.
But the President noted that currently, only 10% of climate finance reaches “the local level”. “This is unacceptable. Uganda, therefore, supports the climate finance approaches in which at least 70% of the resources are allocated to locally prioritized climate actions while empowering last mile communities,” Museveni said.
The President invited the world leaders, who are attending COP28, to Uganda for the 19th Non-Aligned Movement or NAM (15th-20th January 2024) and the Third South Summit or G77 plus China (21st-23rd January 2024).
“On behalf of His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, I extend a warm invitation to you to attend the said meetings,” Nabbanja said. “I look forward to receiving you in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa,”
The Prime Minister later made presentations at the side event organised by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). At this event, over 33 countries signed the Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment and Climate Change, which outlines concerns regarding the effects of climate change on human mobility.
Nabbanja also made a presentation at another side event organised by Cuba about NAM. She stressed the need for urgent funding for all interventions aimed at environmental conservation.
The Prime Minister is leading the Ugandan delegation at the summit. Ministers Sam Cheptoris (Water and Environment), Dr Jane Ruth Aceng (Health), Ruth Nankabirwa (Energy and Mineral Development), Beatrice Anywar (Minister of State for Environment), Henry Okello Oryemu (Minister of State for Foreign Affairs) as well as technical offers from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies are part of the Ugandan delegation. The summit ends on 12 December.