Immediate cutting of gas emissions by developing countries like Botswana would curb development, says Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Onkokame Mokaila.
Molaila says that at the just ended Copenhagen Climate Change Conference they proposed that Botswana be allowed to keep on producing gases in development activities, reach the peak stage and thereafter decline its emissions like all countries.
"A preferred date for Botswana before cutting emissions was 2030 given Morupule and Mmamabula timeline," said Mokaila. However the date finally agreed upon was 2025, which, said the minister still allows the country to develop.
"Cutting emissions would stop Botswana from developing, because as you know development goes hand in hand with energy consumptions and gas emissions," he said.
The minister however said while they had expected to hear that a legal agreement binding developed countries to commit to the Kyoto protocol had been signed, they were disappointed. Nevertheless, said Mokaila, Botswana can benefit from the US$10 billion pledged at the conference which will be used to attract direct foreign investment into the country.
He said one reason for attending the conference was to defend the interests of developing countries and to ensure that Botswana does not get bonded by agreements to cut emissions. Ruud Jansen, Chief Technical
Tebogo Tyolo from the Attorney General Chambers told Mmegi that developing countries did well by rejecting the proposal of the developed countries that wanted to do away with the Kyoto Protocol. She says that the protocol compels them to reduce their gas emissions. "Developed countries wanted to do away with the protocol and formulate an arrangement that compels everybody, including Botswana to cut their emissions. This would be a disadvantage to us," she says.