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Election outcomes and implications for climate change: A turning point?

…political campaigns not addressing climate change issues

Perseverance Javangwe

As the nation grapples with the existential threat of climate change, elections play a pivotal role in shaping the future trajectory of this pressing global issue. The results of political races ultimately determine the policies and actions the government will pursue, which can either amplify or hinder efforts to combat climate change.

The upcoming election holds great significance for the future of climate change policies and global sustainability. With mounting concerns about the escalating climate crisis, the choices made by voters will undoubtedly shape the nation’s approach towards addressing this pressing issue.

Speaking in an interview with this reporter Climate Reality Leader Lesly Mazive said that it is sad that most of the political campaigns that he has encountered are short of issues to do with climate change. He also stated that the newly elected government should prioritise education and more public awareness of climate change issues.

“For me personally, I have not heard about anything to do with climate change in the political campaigns that I have encountered. However, as a climate activist, I am expecting that the newly elected government will prioritise a lot of issues with regard to climate change chief among them public awareness and education together with stricter targets. With climate change being a significant part of the election discourse, I believe that there is an opportunity to raise public awareness and promote education on the impact of climate change. This could result in more widespread support for environmental initiatives, leading to a societal shift towards eco-consciousness and sustainable living.

“Furthermore, there is a need for stricter climate targets. I know we do have a lot of targets that we have as a country, but I feel like there is a need for a more stricter one. I feel that there is a need for the newly-elected government to set more ambitious climate targets, aligning with global climate agreements such as the Paris Agreement, for example. Strengthening emission reduction commitments and pursuing deeper decarbonization initiatives on the horizon,” he said.

Moreover, the election outcome could lead to increased support and investments in renewable energy sources. A focus on transitioning away from fossil fuels towards renewable technologies, such as solar and wind power, may gain momentum, driving innovation and job creation in the green energy sector. It is against this background that environmentalist, Elizabeth Gulugulu stated that, for her, the major important aspect that should be addressed has to do with renewable energies.

Environmentalist Elizabeth Gulugulu

“…all I know is whoever is in leadership should work on investing in renewable energy and improving the livelihoods of people,” she said.

Environmentalist and Climate Reality Leader Pascal Shuro concurs with Gulugulu by emphasizing the need to address the issue of renewable energies.

“…so we expect the government to pioritise renewable energy initiatives in the country. Furthermore, there is also a need to prioritise environmental sustainability, while educating the public on issues to deal with carbon emissions,” he said.

The significance of elections becomes even more apparent when examining the international cooperation necessary to combat climate change. Multi-lateral agreements such as the Paris Agreement rely on the cooperation and participation of countries worldwide. Elections can either strengthen or weaken a nation’s commitment to these agreements, ultimately impacting the collective global efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change. Climate activist Khloe Mabasa stated that there is a need for the newly elected government to engage in international cooperation and fight the scourge of the climate crisis.

“International Cooperation is key in addressing climate change. The newly elected government’s commitment to addressing climate change could foster greater collaboration with other nations. It may encourage stronger diplomacy, participation in global forums, and bilateral agreements to tackle climate issues on a broader scale, reaffirming their position as responsible global citizens,” said Mabasa.

Speaking in an interview with this reporter Clerk of the SADC Youth Parliament, who is also the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) I ACT Trainer in ZImbabwe Christabel Mhiribidi said that there next five years after the August 23 elections will mark a difference in the climate discourse while presenting new opportunities to act against the climate crisis.

Clerk of the SADC Youth Parliament Christabel Clotilda Mhiribidi

“I think it poses an opportunity to have more ambitious goals and plans towards addressing the climate crisis. Also, the outcome can clear a map on how the government will support young people in championing climate innovations in climate adaptation and mitigation. Furthermore, the outcome might also present major opportunities to explore carbon credits. The next five years should mark a difference in the climate discourse,” she said.

As the nation navigates the delicate balance of economic growth and environmental sustainability, elections serve as defining moments in determining a nation’s stance on climate change. Every election cycle presents an opportunity for voters to voice their concerns, values, and aspirations regarding this critical issue.

Ultimately, the outcome of the coming elections holds profound implications for climate change. It can either serve as an accelerator, empowering governments to enact ambitious policies and foster international cooperation, or potentially create roadblocks and setbacks in the fight against climate change. The choices made by voters are essential in shaping the trajectory of our shared future and the well-being of our planet.

While the election outcome sets the tone for climate change policies, it is crucial to monitor actual developments and follow through on specified commitments. Public engagement and accountability will remain paramount in ensuring that the promises made during the election translate into meaningful actions to combat climate change.

As the nation enters this new chapter, the question remains: will this election outcome be the catalyst needed to address climate change effectively, or will the challenges at hand outweigh the proposed solutions? Only time will reveal the true potential and lasting impact of these election decisions on the battle against climate change.

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