President Peter Mutharika says Malawi would have made more economic progress without the impacts of climate change.
Mutharika made the remarks in Spain on Monday where he addressed the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference.
The Malawi leaders described climate change as a catastrophe that is more colossal than any war “known to us” saying it is taking innocent lives, frustrating national economies and inflicting untold suffering to many people of the world.
He noted that Malawi has suffered four natural disasters in the past five years including a drought in 2015, floods in 2016 and dry spells which allowed fall armyworms to thrive in the 2017/2018 growing season.
In March earlier this year, Malawi was hit by Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth which directly affected one million people and led to 60 deaths.
Mutharika told the summit that Malawi’s agro-based economy has failed to withstand the natural disasters.
“Malawi would have made more economic progress without the setbacks of climate change.
“This is the double tragedy of the developing world. The weaker the economy, the more fragile the existence of our vulnerable people, and the more we suffer the shocks of climate change. The more a weak economy suffers the shocks of climate change, the more we lack resources to fight climate change,” he said.
The Malawi leader told the summit that the country has developed a National Climate Change Management Policy to specifically manage the effects of climatic change.
“We have developed a National Resilience Strategy to fend off economic shocks and sustain inclusive growth, food security, and improved well-being for all Malawians,” he said.
“Currently, we are promoting the use of clean energy. We have removed taxes on solar power systems, energy efficient bulbs and liquefied petroleum gas cylinders,” Mutharika said.
He then called on developed countries to move one step forward in providing financial and technological support to Least Developing Countries which “suffer most from the effects of climate change”.
According to Mutharika, the world has enough resources to fight climate change but what is needed is sharing and unity.