By McCarthy Mwalwimba in Spain, MANA
Minister of Energy, Natural Resources and Mining Binton Kutsaira has said newly introduced Carbon Tax is part of Malawi’s contributions to the fight against climate change and its effects, therefore, people should not be worried.
The Minister was speaking Friday to Malawian journalists in Madrid, Spain ahead of 25th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) slated for December 2 to 13, 2019.
Government, through the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), last Monday started collecting the carbon tax on motor vehicles from vehicle owners who renew Certificate of Fitness (COF) for their vehicles.
The introduction of the tax, which will be paid annually when renewing the COF, has brought mixed reactions with some people supporting it while others against it.
But Kutsaira said Malawians should not consider carbon tax as a burden because it would help fight continued destruction of the ozone layer in line with the UNFCCC.
“As a country, we have taken all measures; for example, in the 2019 to 2020 National Budget the government has put a carbon tax on all vehicles because, for sure, we should be serious.
“The Public should know that, indeed, there is an issue of climate change that needs to be addressed and that’s why government has put that carbon tax so that even citizens from Malawi should also be paying for the country to adapt to the situation,” the Minister said.
He explained that the introduction of the carbon tax is one of the mitigating measures which is also aimed at building resilience and adaptation.
Kutsaira said there is need for the developed countries to also to do more.
“So, this meeting is used as a negotiating table for all countries so that other countries must also be paying,” he said.
Kutsaira said other interventions Malawi has taken include the banning of thin plastics which contributed to the destruction of the environment.
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 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.
President Prof. Peter Mutharika is among a few African countries invited to attend and speak at the conference.