SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY PROFESSOR PETER MUTHARIKA AT THE CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT, MADRID- SPAIN

I bring you greetings from the people of Malawi. And to the people of Spain, we are grateful for the warm hospitality given to us since our arrival.

Let me also congratulate you, Mr. President, for convening and hosting this historic Summit.

I come to affirm that the effects of climate change are being felt everywhere today. Climate Change has devastating consequences on real human lives.

Man is at war with nature. Climate change has become the most catastrophic tragedy of our time. In scale, this is a catastrophe that is more colossal than any war known to us.

Everywhere, climate change is taking innocent lives, frustrating national economies and inflicting untold suffering to many people of the world.

The story of my country is a story of many countries. Malawi has suffered four natural disasters in the past five years.

In 2015, we had drought that was immediately followed by heavy rains and floods. Crops failed, infrastructure destroyed, and people died. In 2016, we had floods. Crops failed, infrastructure destroyed, and lives lost.

In our 2017/2018 growing season, our crops were destroyed by fall armyworms, which are climate change related because these worms thrive in dry spells.

In March earlier this year, Malawi was hit by Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth. About 1 million people were directly affected. We lost 60 (sixty) lives and many lost their homes while 672 (six hundred and seventy-two) were injured.

Up to this moment as I speak, we need over three hundred and seventy-five million dollars for recovery. We have to find this money.

Every time there is a natural disaster, crops fail, the back of our agro-based economy gets broken and the economy falters. And a weak economy takes long to recover from the effects of natural disasters.

Malawi would have made more economic progress without the setbacks of climate change.

This is the double tragedy of the developing world. The weaker the economy, the more fragile the existence of our vulnerable people, and the more we suffer the shocks of climate change. The more a weak economy suffers the shocks of climate change, the more we lack resources to fight climate change.

In spite of the challenges, Malawi is playing her part and fighting climate change. Climate change is recognized as a key priority in Malawi Growth and Development Strategy. This is our policy blueprint for driving the development agenda.

We have developed a National Climate Change Management Policy to specifically manage to adverse effects of climatic change.

We have developed a National Resilience Strategy to fend off economic shocks and sustain inclusive growth, food security, and improved well-being for all Malawians.

We have developed a range of sectoral policies that include:

• The National Forestry Policy (2016),

• The National Meteorological Policy (2019),

• The National Irrigation Policy (2016), and

• The National Climate Smart Agriculture Framework (2018).

Currently, we are promoting the use of clean energy. We have removed taxes on solar power systems, energy efficient bulbs and liquefied petroleum gas cylinders.

We have imposed a carbon tax on all motor vehicles as a way of managing vehicular emissions.

We have developed a Forest Restoration Strategy, deploying the Youth as key agents in climate change management under a Youth Afforestation Programme. We target restoring 4.5 million hectares of degraded forest landscape.

Mr. President

Malawi is doing a lot in fighting climate change. As a country, we are developing a National Climate Change Management Fund to mobilize local resources for fighting climate change.

The Least Developing Countries are doing their part. Our major challenge is resources.

The Least Developing Countries are the least contributors to climate change. And yet, we suffer most from the effects of climate change.

As Chair of the Least Developed Countries, Malawi pleads for adequate resources to help the LDCs in the fight against climate change.

We urge our developed partners to move one step forward in providing financial and technological support.

The world has enough resources to fight climate change, if only we can share. The world has enough power to fight climate change, if only we can unite.

Together, we can make it! I thank you for your attention.

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