HARARE, April 29 — zimbabwe should prepare for emission reduction targets to be introduced for developing countries at the next environment and development summit of Heads of States and Governments to be held next year, an expert says.

The National Climate Change Co-ordinator, Washington Zhakata, said here Monday that Zimbabwe should start putting in place measures to ensure that all sectors played their part in complying with global environmental agreements.

“We need to work on strategies of reducing emissions,” he said. “The sooner we do that the better.”

Zhakata said Heads of States and Governments would be meeting next year to adopt a new international treaty on climate change to succeed the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) which expired in 2012.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty which set binding obligations on industrialized countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

It recognized that developed countries contributed the most to the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the industrial revolution of the 19th Century and that the contribution of developing countries was very minimal.

It therefore placed a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”.

The new treaty to be adopted next year would be in recognition that the contribution of developing countries to greenhouse gas emissions had grown over the years and they should be obliged to reduce.

Some developed countries were also concerned that China and other major emerging economies namely Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa (commonly known as BRICS) continued to be classified as developing countries when they had become prolific emitters.

“We are all going to have targets of one nature or the other irrespective of development with commitments depending on the sizes of the economies,” said Zhakata.

He said the Climate Change Office was already working with the Zimbabwe Business Council for Sustainable Development to ensure industrialists were aware of the impending emission reduction targets.

Zhakata said Zimbabwe risked trade barriers being imposed by other countries that would have ratified the treaty as its goods would be classified as having been produced under “dirty environments”.

“We need to embark on very serious climate change mitigation awareness at both industrial, institutional and systemic levels,” he said.