Paris Agreement and negative impact on Namibia

15 Dec 2015 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 15 DEC (NAMPA) – The Paris Agreement on climate change could have a negative impact on Namibia as the country would have to sacrifice some of its priority areas in order to invest in renewable energy.
In an interview with Nampa on Tuesday, Swanu of Namibia President, Usutuaije Maamberua said Namibia does not have funds to invest in renewable energy, unless the country sacrifice some priority areas, such as education and health.
He explained that if the country decides to shift money from some of the priority areas, this will compromise the country’s development and industrialisation plans.
“This means education targets such as free tertiary education, poverty eradication by 2025 and Vision 2030 will not be realised. We have to think of another vision.”
In addition, Maamberua said Namibia is blessed with uranium, which is also being regarded by environmentalists as dangerous to the environment and a destructive energy source when used at a nuclear power station because of the radioactive waste, a perception that could affect the global demand for uranium.
“The demand for uranium will be reduced and our mining of uranium will therefore slow down. Some mines will close down and this will have a serious impact on the economy such as job losses and the reduction of revenue for Government.
“The Paris Agreement will have negative implications on Namibia in the years to come,” he reiterated.
The just ended Conference of Parties (COP) 21 United Nations climate change conference in Paris, France that was attended by representatives from 196 nations produced an agreement hailed as historic, durable and ambitious.
Nations at the meeting on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below two degrees Celsius (2°C) above pre-industrial levels and also make efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C.
For this, the key is reducing the dependence on fossil fuels and cutting greenhouse gas emissions from combustive energy producing processes that are responsible for the greenhouse effect of trapping radiation in Earth’s atmosphere.
To achieve this, finance for developing nations will be provided to help them cut greenhouse gas emissions by investing in renewable energy and cope with the effects of extreme weather – dry, hot, cold or wet, the agreement stipulates. Countries affected by climate-related disasters will gain urgent aid.
The global meeting also acknowledged the need to promote universal access to sustainable energy in developing countries, particularly in Africa, through the enhanced deployment of renewable energy.
At a media conference on Tuesday, outlining the outcome of the meeting in Paris, France at the weekend, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta explained that the Paris Agreement puts in place a robust financial mechanism to provide adequate and predictable financial resources to developing countries in order to meet their mitigation obligations and implement the adaptation actions of their economy actively.
With Namibia aiming to industrialize and have a productive economy as per developmental plans and visions in the light of creating employment and improving the livelihoods of the people, resources such as energy, water and land play a crucial role manifesting the highly pursued goal.
The Paris Agreement will be deposited at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York and will be opened for one year for signature on 22 April 2016, on Mother Earth Day. The agreement will enter into force after 55 countries that account for at least 55 per cent of global emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification.