Saturday, September 5, 2009

Africa lobbying for cash over Climate Change

By Kojanews

African countries now want cash from main polluters as compensation for environmental damages. But question many people ask is why Africa, yet again, a special case? Yet the whole world is suffering at the moment. All have obligations to the environment, and all need to take more responsibility.

African nations are among the lightest polluters but analysts say they will suffer the most from climate change.

Representatives of 10 African countries met recently in Ethiopia to try to agree a common position on climate change, months before a crucial UN meeting where they renewed their demands for billions of dollars in compensation for Africa because of damage caused by global warming.

They also renewed their calls for rich nations to cut emissions by 40 percent by 2012.

But experts say the move to agree a common negotiating platform for Africa recognizes the continent's failure to make its voice heard on the debate.

Environmentalist Alice Kaudia reiterated Kenya’s foreign affairs Minister Moses Wetangula’s appeal to the continent to learn from other countries' mistakes and unite for the purpose of agitation for their rights.

"One single country will not solve its environmental problems on its own, it will need partners, and that's why it's very important that there's that unified common position," she said.

"The development of Africa should not go alongside the same mistakes that the developed world already made - to have these high emissions that are now affecting the whole world."

So far, delegations from individual countries have had limited success in making the case that Africa needs special help to cope with climate change.

The "representatives and experts" of African Union (AU) leaders - who include environment and agriculture ministers from the 10 countries - met in Addis Ababa under Libyan chairmanship in an attempt to change this.

Powerhouses South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya were among those countries represented where they discussed a suggestion that developed countries should cut emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020, and that richer nations should provide $67bn (£40bn) a year to help the least well-off cope with rising temperatures.

They will also attempt to agree a set of key ideas in order to help national delegations to the UN negotiations in Copenhagen this December to present a co-coordinated position.

The Copenhagen conference will try to negotiate a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, elements of which expire in 2012.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can African Nations stand-up as a team and be counted as we back this eloguent proposal. Our unity is our strength and if leaders can forget political differences and re focus their sternth in restoring and procting the much deplicated forests in this resourceful and productive continent nothing will stop Africa from geting all she wants.A clean and better Environment for better development.Kudos -James in Nyeri

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