President Peter Mutharika Friday arrived in Madrid, Spain to attend the 25th Session of the Conference of Parties (CoP 25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) starting on Monday.
On arrival President Mutharika was welcomed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francis Kasaila, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Binton Kutsaira, Malawi High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Kena Mphonda, among other officials.
Kutsaira said in an interview earlier that Mutharika was among a few invited African leaders because of the strides the country has taken in protection of natural resources and the environment.
Among other things, the Minister said the country has banned the use of thin plastics; has embarked on the forest restoration programmes, some involving the youth, and increased efforts in wildlife conservation.
“You saw the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry coming to Malawi just to signify the point that the President is leading in the conversation of biodiversity in the world.
“With all these actions, the President has demonstrated that he is indeed a reliable partner to the world in the protection of the environment,” Kutsaira said.
The Conferences, held annually since 1995, are aimed at bringing together UN member states to consolidate efforts to combat climate change and its effects.
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 Conference of Parties (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. The first COP was held in Berlin in 1995.
To date, 24 COPs have been held, the last one was in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018.
To this effect, COP 25’s key objective is to complete several issues and operationalise fully the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement aimed at cutting greenhouse gases emissions which is a major culprit of climate change.
President Mutharika is expected to speak about the adverse effects of climate change on behalf of the Least Developed Countries. Malawi is Chairperson for the Least Developed Countries.