The French Minister says over reliance on charcoal as an alternative energy source may lead to deforestation which would in turn ultimately lead to climate change. She has urged Zambians to explore other energy sources such as solar energy. FRENCH Minister of Environment S`egole`ne Royal says the alternative source of energy (charcoal) that most Zambians have turned to due to increased load shedding is causing deforestation in the country.
The French Minister said over reliance on charcoal as an alternative energy source may lead to deforestation which would in turn ultimately lead to climate change.
“The Government is waiting for rain in order for the water levels to normalise yet deforestation will prevent this rain from coming,” she revealed.
Ms. Royal further urged Zambians to utilise solar energy in a bid to reduce on deforestation.
“We have set good examples of safe energy in Senegal and we also want Zambia to benefit from this technology,” she added.
Ms. Royal also said the French Government is raising funds to put up solar equipment as well as undertake a green campaign aimed at combating climate change in Zambia.
“The green campaign is simply about encouraging people to use environmentally safe products and devices. It is about turning the negative environmental impacts into positive ones,” the Minister added.
She further said the French Government is also preparing for a climate conference in Southern Africa adding that her government is exerting pressure on carbon emitting countries in Asia and Europe to mention but a few in order to reduce climate change.
“Zambia can also contribute to the climate awareness campaign by urging countries in the Southern African Developing Countries (SADC) region to participate in regional meetings concerning climate change,” she said.
The French Minister said this during a press briefing held at Alliance Francais held under the theme ‘the 60th solution for climate change.’