Minister of Energy, Natural Resources and Mining Binton Kutsaira has said newly introduced Carbon Tax is part of Malawi’s contributions to the fight against climate change and its effects, therefore, people should not be worried.
The Minister was speaking Friday to Malawian journalists in Madrid, Spain ahead of United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference.
The conference, known as Conference of Parties (COP25), is expected to start in the Spanish capital, Madrid, on December 2 2019.
Government, through the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), last Monday started collecting the carbon tax on motor vehicles from vehicle owners who renew Certificate of Fitness (COF) for their vehicles.
The introduction of the tax, which will be paid annually when renewing the COF, has brought mixed reactions with some people supporting it while others against it.
But Kutsaira said Malawians should not consider carbon tax as a burden because it would help fight continued destruction of the ozone layer in line with theUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
“As a country, we have taken all measures; for example, in the 2019 to 2020 National Budget the government has put a carbon tax on all vehicles because, for sure, we should be serious.
“The public should know that, indeed, there is an issue of climate change that needs to be addressed and that’s why government has put that carbon tax so that even citizens from Malawi should also be paying for the country to adapt to the situation,” the Minister said.
He explained that the introduction of the carbon tax is one of the mitigating measures which is also aimed at building resilience and adaptation.
Kutsaira said there is need for the developed countries to also to do more.
“So, this meeting is used as a negotiating table for all countries so that other countries must also be paying,” he said.
Kutsaira said other interventions Malawi has taken include the banning of thin plastics which contributed to the destruction of the environment.
The UNFCCC was established as an international response to climate change.
It was signed as a treaty in 1992 by 196 Parties (States) plus the European Union and the COP is the supreme decision-making body of the convention.
The Parties meet every year to review progress in the implementation of proposed actions and this year’s COP is the 25th.
Malawian President Peter Mutharika is among a few African countries invited to attend and speak at the conference.
Mutharika has promised to present Malawi’s disaster situation and those of other least developed countries.
The Malawi leader observed that the challenge of global warming has not spared Malawi as evidenced by devastating effects of floods and drought that continue to wreak havoc.
“I will present Malawi’s case and those of other least developed countries and also try to talk to these developed countries to reduce carbon emissions,” he said.
Mutharika, who will be attending the conference for the first time, also pointed out that through the conference the country will learn how to be resilient to disasters.
The conference is taking place two months after the Climate Change Action Summit held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, which Mutharika also attended.- Additional reporting by Green Muheya, Nyasa Times
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