In mid-June, Ethiopia – Africa’s second most populous nation – told the UN it plans to slash carbon emissions and become a carbon-neutral middle-income country by 2030.
Critics on social media, which was abuzz following the country’s announcement, asked why a country that is already not industrially developed should commit itself to reducing emissions while India and China, some of the world’s worst emitters, are reluctant to make the necessary environmental commitments.
Ethiopia is not a large emitter and such commitments would prevent it from industrializing in the future, opponents argued.
Ethiopian Minister of Environment and Forestry Belete Taferre disagreed and said these claims were either a result of misunderstanding or an attempt to tarnish the campaign.
“The country’s carbon neutral strategy does not in any way conflict with its industrial desires,” he said. “Ethiopia believes much of its energy should come from clean sources and it has those resources in its bosom.”