Dire warnings have been issued by UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres that the rate of temperature rise in the last half century is the highest in 2,000 years. He added that concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) are at their highest in at least 2-million years. These facts, together with the view of scientists that the earth is already 1.1°C warmer than it was 150 years ago, show us that we have a pending climate catastrophe.

We have seen the devastating impact of climate change on our ecosystem, weather patterns and agricultural production. For example, the devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal early last year were said to be the worst in six decades for that region, while recurrent and prolonged droughts have become common in our country, worsening household food security and access to safe drinking water for both humans and livestock. In the subregion, we have seen how monsoons and hurricanes in countries such as Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique have destroyed infrastruct...

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