Tunisia needs to urgently act against highly noticeable effects of climate change (Leila Chikhaoui)

“It is necessary to urgently act against the highly noticeable effects of climate change, as any delay in action may lead to irreversible consequences for our resources, our ecosystems, our development and our well-being,” said Minister of Environment Leila Chikhaoui.

Taking the floor at an international conference on investment in the implementation of Tunisia’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), organised by the Environment Ministry, Chikhaoui considered that this meeting is the first step to a real and concrete shift towards an effective climate action, through concrete projects with high climate impact.

“The level of climate change speed that we are witnessing exceeds our capacity to cope with it and mitigate its impacts. In Tunisia, climate change is no longer a purely scientific concern related to probable models of future climate change, it is a reality in our daily lives,” the minister underlined.

“The increase in average annual temperatures during the 20th century is estimated to be over 1.4°C in Tunisia, well above the global average,” she specified.

The effects of global warming in Tunisia can be seen today in the gradual and continuous depletion of water resources, the pronounced degradation of agricultural land, the continuous rise in sea level and a remarkable increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme climatic phenomena, notably floods, forest fires and drought, Chikhaoui considered.

“These direct effects of climate change have already begun to have a major impact on our natural resources, our most productive ecosystems, our food security and our economic sectors that rely on the use of natural resources and ecosystems, such as agriculture and tourism. The most severe effects of climate change are on the most vulnerable populations, notably women, rural populations and the poorest communities who have the least capacity to adapt or cope with it,” she estimated.

Despite all the economic and social challenges currently facing Tunisia, exacerbated by the effects of climate change, the minister expressed the government’s willingness to embark on a radical transformation of the development vision.

“Achieving a more sustained, just, carbon-neutral and inclusive socio-economic development by 2050 requires a revolutionary vision of our development and a policy of breaking away from the Business As Usual, Chikhaoui underscored.

“To achieve this, the mechanisms must be innovative and consistent with our level of ambition, leading to a radical transformation at all levels: Strategic, legal, institutional and economic,” she said.

“This new vision is based on an unprecedented acceleration of climate response action and measures, through structuring, ambitious projects with a high climate impact, which will allow a considerable reduction in the carbon footprint of our entire economy, and will establish a new societal project that is more resilient to current and future climate challenges and risks,” she concluded.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse




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