President Arthur Peter Mutharika is scheduled to join dozens of heads of State and government, environmental organisations, entrepreneurs, scientists and over 25 000 representatives from 200 countries globally who have gathered in Madrid, Spain for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) which opens today.
A statement issued by State House Press Office signed by presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalilani states that Mutharika is expected to address the summit at 11.30am Central African Time.
Reads the statement in part: ” Mutharika is among five African leaders who have been invited to attend the meeting based on their performance towards climate change in their countries. The meeting has been organised for nations to join forces and commit themselves in the fight against climate change effects.”
Speaking on departure in Malawi on Friday, Mutharika said there are several challenges that have resulted from climate change such as dwindling water levels in the Shire River and Lake Malawi, floods and global warming which have negatively affected least developed countries in the world, including Malawi.
In the recent years, Malawi has also experienced changing rainfall patterns and dry spells which specialists have attributed to climate change.
This year’s talks will focus on putting the 2015 Paris Agreement into practice with the aim of cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions which lead to climate change.
“The conference will also be a preparatory meeting for the National Plans for 2020 climate conference which will take place in the United Kingdom where it is expected that long-term responses to climate change emergency will be decided,” the statement reads further.
According to the statement, Spanish President Pedro Sánchez, who will open the summit, is expected to host the world leaders to a State luncheon and later to a reception by their majesties the King and the Queen of Spain at the Royal Palace.
Following agreement on the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement at COP24 in Poland last year, a key objective is to complete several matters with respect to the full operationalisation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Mutharika has been accompanied by Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bintony Kutsaira, among other officials.
The COP25 will wind up of December 13.