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An Op-Ed On COP26

HE Dr Christian Dennys-McClure

By HE Dr. Christian Dennys-McClure, British High Commissioner To Cameroon

Our climate is changing; our planet is warming and science tells us that man-made carbon emissions are the primary cause. Climate change affects the UK and it affects Cameroon. Our seasons are disrupted and rainfall patterns are changing, endangering livelihoods and people’s safety. The biodiversity we rely on as a species is dwindling undermining our precious ecosystems.

If we do not act now, the impacts will be devastating. In Cameroon, where around 60 percent of people are engaged in agriculture, the risks of a changing climate are grave. Yet, over the next 30 years, we can make a significant contribution to reducing the impact of climate change by limiting our carbon emissions and by protecting nature. We all have our part to play, as individuals, organisations, companies and governments.

Today, as we look to the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference being held in Glasgow, UK, this November, world leaders and delegations have an opportunity to ensure that governments, in particular, provide the right level of political ambition to keep 1.5C alive and apply the right policy frameworks to help their countries reduce their emissions, adapt their economies and build resilience against the effects of climate change.

Here in Cameroon, the UK and Italy hosted climate activists at a live-streaming of the Youth4Climate event in Milan, where Cameroon was represented by two young activists. Milan played host to the final Ministerial meeting ahead of COP in November. The British COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, highlighted at that occasion that ‘young voices, youth voices are more essential than ever to drive the climate change conversation.’

At our event in Yaounde, I spoke with young Cameroonians about the importance of adapting to a new climate and limiting temperature rises. We also discussed the importance for donors to meet their commitment to provide sufficient financing for these activities in countries that cannot so easily afford to act.

COP26 will be a defining moment in the global effort to limit climate change and mitigate its impacts. As the incoming COP Presidents at COP26, the UK looks forward to continued broad and ambitious engagement from Cameroon and the region. We look forward to Cameroon delivering its updated National Determined Contribution to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and we look forward to working together to deliver our shared commitments.

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