Monday, September 20, 2021

Botswana should do its bit in the fight against climate change

The issue of climate warming is fast morphing into a global crisis.

Not only is it a security matter, it has become an existential threat as well.

Botswana Government can lead the way through guiding its companies, parastatals and agencies to show the way on climate matters.

Clearly Botswana is lagging behind when it comes to clean energy.

The government has to demonstrate awareness on what is happening on the global regulators frontier. This will help Botswana to do what it can given its size, influence and also what is expected of the country.

As a regulator government should set and enforce standards. The best way to enforce the standards is to set targets.

The government should also attempt to come up with incentives for those companies that work towards setting up infrastructure for the clean energy vision.

Botswana like the rest of Africa, really, does not contribute significantly to the global emissions.

But we all know that the country still relies on coal to power its electricity generation power station.

Even the power that the country imports is sourced from coal.

Transitioning from coal to clean sources is not going to come cheap.

But those in power need to appreciate what sticking to coal means in the end.

Sustainability is key. And coal is not sustainable.

Upmarket customers are increasingly trying to establish if the item they purchase have been sourced responsibly.

They want to make sure that that the environment did not suffer as a result of the things they buy.

In the same way they want to establish if no human results have not happened as a result along the supply chain of the products they are buying.

Another way Botswana government could show the way is to ensure that lenders make climate change dynamics an integral component of the conditions for lending.

Botswana government plays a big role in the lending sphere through CEDA, for example.

To that end, this past week, Pandora Jewelleries which is the world biggest diamond jeweler announced that it has ceased using mined diamonds in their manufacturing because of the harm such mining causes the environment.

This should get Botswana worried.

Botswana is leading diamond producer, at least by value.

Diamonds have always been a discretionary purchase.

The world consumption habits have overall become unsustainable.

Even the food we eat need to be produced differently. Or such production will not be sustainable if it hurts the environment.

In all these, government can play a leadership role.

Botswana government should for example make moves towards banning the use of non-recyclable container plastics.

They are some of the biggest contaminators of the environment.

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