……the Zambian experts among the attendees

Berlin, June 16, 2019

A conference of experts on climate change opens Monday in Bonn, Germany, under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC. According to the official website for the conference, over the next ten days the experts will be taking part in “a wide range of events, meetings, and negotiating sessions that will set the stage for the raising of ambition to curb greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate resilience-building efforts, and ensure that climate policy is built on a solid foundation of the best available science and knowledge”.

This is the 50th session of what is called the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, SBSTA, or SB50, that has been meeting since 1995. As a body of experts that meets in between the annual COP or Conference Of the Parties, SBSTA is expected to assist governments in appreciating the science on climate change, bring together expertise, encourage cooperation and contribute to the development of tools and methods that may be used in the implementation process.

The 50th conference of climate change experts that includes a Zambian delegation, comes against trends that are of concern to the scientific community. Scientists have noted that the world is yet to succeed in the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. According to measurements taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory on the Island of Hawaii in the US, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have increased and continue to increase even as recent as a week ago.

The deliberations and negotiations that will take place at the Bonn conference will feed into the next Conference of the Parties, or COP25 that is scheduled to take place next year in December in the Chilean city of Santiago.

Zambia’s Ambassador to Germany His Excellency Anthony Mukwita has urged the Zambian delegation to use the conference to gather the latest scientific understanding of what is happening to the climate and some of the best practices in policy formulation and intervention measures.

The Zambian delegation consists of Mrs. Carol Zulu from the Ministry of Lands, Mr. Richard Lungu from the Ministry of Water Development, Dr. Alick Muvundika from the National Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, NISIR, Ms. Rachel Tetamashimba from the Ministry of Energy, Mr. Akabiwa Nyambe from the Ministry of Planning, Mr. Titus N’gandu of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, DMMU and Mr. Morton Mwanza from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Ambassador Mukwita reminded the delegates that the Zambian government is serious with issues of climate change as the country is still grappling with its effects since the devastating power cuts of 2015 that threatened to bring the entire economy to a halt.

“Because of heavy dependence on hydro generated power since independence, we have to rationalize power distribution every time rainfall patterns become unfavorable”, said Ambassador Mukwita.

Currently, the Zambian government is in the process of diversifying sources of electricity with several solar power plants expected to come on stream between now and 2022. Until then, Zambians are expected to experience intermittent power cuts as government calls for patience and understanding among citizens and other residents in the country.

Globally, climate change effects have been observed in extreme heat waves, floods, wild fires, melting ice caps that have left thousands dead, others missing and damage to property running into billions of dollars.