Ministers shed light on south south cooperation and China’s role at climate conference

The debilitating impact of climate change

Government ministers and senior officials from Botswana, Laos, Ghana and a number of other countries highlighted here on Friday the importance of South-South cooperation in addressing climate challenges.

Speaking at a side event held at the China Pavilion of the COP28 climate conference, the senior officials stressed the urgency of taking cooperative measures to cope with climate change and emphasized China’s leading role.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing the international community,” said Bounkham Vorachit, minister of natural resources and environment of Laos.

The minister said that in her country, climate change is having an impact on socio-economic development and people’s well-being due to rising temperatures, fluctuations in rainfall, severe storms, frequent and prolonged floods and droughts.

She urged for global commitment and collaboration to solve the problem, saying: “South-South cooperation is increasingly playing a vital role as part of collective efforts in addressing climate change.”

“China has become a global leader in utilizing green and low-carbon energies, as well as an active practitioner and supporter of the South-South cooperation, which also supports China’s aim to become the largest contributor to climate action,” the minister said.

Phildah Kereng, Botswana’s minister of environment and tourism, shared a similar view on how to better tackle climate change.

Kereng told the gathering that China’s commitment to South-South cooperation on climate change is aligned with the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and the pursuit of sustainable development.

“By sharing expertise, providing financial support, and facilitating knowledge exchange, China contributes to global efforts in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, fostering climate resilience, and promoting sustainable development in the context of climate change,” she said.

The minister mentioned China’s active participation in South-South cooperation frameworks such as the South-South Cooperation Fund on Climate Change, which aims to support developing countries in implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

“Through this framework, China provides financial and technical assistance to help countries transition towards low-carbon and climate-resilient development pathways,” said Kereng.

The minister also noted that cooperation with China has contributed to Botswana’s development in various aspects, ranging from trade and investment to infrastructure development and capacity building.

Herbert Krapa, deputy energy minister of Ghana, said he believes in the power of South-South cooperation, and he acknowledged China’s leadership in this field.

Krapa said that climate change can be felt anywhere, whether in Africa or in other parts of the world.

“You’re feeling the effect of the devastation that the rising temperatures are causing everywhere in the world, and so, take action, proactively,” he appealed to the audience.

In Ghana, and Africa as a whole, the major issues that need to be addressed include climate finance, technical capacity building, knowledge sharing as well as research and development, said Krapa.

COP28, or the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is being held here from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12.

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