Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni has said that Europeans’ greed to make quick money is responsible for the increased emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
The President made this known during the Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala while closing a three-day Inter-Ministerial Conference on Migration, Environment and Climate Change on Friday.
While many African countries rely heavily on natural resources, changing climate patterns have threatened agriculture, health, water supply, hydropower production, road infrastructure and housing.
The conference was organised by the Ministry of Water and Environment, supported by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) regional office for East Africa and the Horn of Africa, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and East Africa’s Development Bank Regional Collaboration Centre based in Uganda under the theme ‘Enhancing Cooperation in Relation to Climate Change Induced Human Mobility, Including Migration, Displacement and Planned Relocation.
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It brought together relevant ministers of environment and the ministers who manage migration and their technical experts from the 12 countries under the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad), the East African Community and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Horn of Africa region members states.
Some of the countries that took part in the conference include Djibouti, Burundi, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and other African member states.
In his remarks, Museveni said “We (Ugandans) can give testimony to the dangers of mismanaging the environment, but there is the global mismanagement by those [Europeans] who are emitting greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide,” Mr Museveni said, adding that carbon dioxide, “when used well… can be captured by plants and plants use it to manufacture food.”
A report by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) shows that an annual average of 21.5 million people are forcefully displaced by weather-related events such as floods, storms, wildfires and extreme temperatures.
Responding, the president said, “these extreme temperatures have recently been cooking Europeans. Temperatures in London (UK), some parts of the US and Spain have reached 41 degrees centigrade. We have never had 41 degrees Celsius in Uganda like Europeans. People who do not listen cause a lot of problems for everybody, including themselves,”.
A joint declaration by member states at the conference resolved to enhance regional cooperation in relation to climate change-induced human mobility, including migration, displacement and planned relocation.
The declaration is expected to provide a standpoint from which the 12 member states intend to articulate regional priorities with respect to the negotiations planned at the Conference of Parties (COP27), with particular focus on the adverse impact of climate change on human mobility.
Story was adapted from Monitor.