DUBAI – Ibrahim Matola, Malawi's Minister of Energy, has emphasised the paramount significance of the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28), highlighting its role as a global platform facilitating dialogue and decision-making crucial for safeguarding the world against the impacts of climate change.

Speaking to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sidelines of the UN Climate Conference, Matola highlighted the convergence of key players: industrialised nations, historically responsible for environmental pollution, and developing nations bearing the brunt of climate impacts.

He delivered a clear message: polluters must assist those struggling with the consequences of their actions. Hurricanes, floods, and other environmental upheavals, he declared, are not random occurrences, but direct results of industrial pollution. He urged industrialised nations to step up, not just financially, but also through supportive measures.

However, Matola's call went beyond mere financial handouts. He emphasised the responsibility of recipient nations to utilise funds effectively. He saw the Global Climate Fund and the Loss and Damage Fund as turning points in climate financing, but stressed that environmental stewardship is a shared burden. These funds, he declared, could be the catalyst for collective progress.

For Matola, COP28 wasn't just about pronouncements; it was about action. He advocated for directing funds efficiently, ensuring they reach those who need them most, and maximising their impact. During a dedicated Green Zone session on sustainable trade in Africa, Matola championed the cause of African nations, urging the international community to bridge the trade gaps that leave them behind. His message was one of unity and shared responsibility: "One hand cannot clap alone," he declared, emphasising the need for collective action.