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Saturday, September 19, 2009

African Nations Threatening To Walk Out of Climate Talks

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, right, was elected by the Africa Union to head the continent's delegation for international climate change talks. The delegation includes Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa. African Union chief Jean Ping and AU current chairman Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi will also accompany the delegation to Copenhagen. Africa's climate change negotiators have threatened to withdraw from the December global climate change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark if developed nations failed to agree with Africa’s minimum position.

African nations common want huge financial support (estimated at US$300 billion) and technology transfer from the West for mitigation and adaptation activities to curb the impact of climate crisis on the continent. According to the Common Position document, Africa is demanding measurable, reportable and verifiable emission reduction by developed nations.

Key Positions

Africa demands that developed countries should commit 0.5 per cent of their GDP for climate action in developing countries and commit to new and innovative sources of public and private sector finance, with the major source of funding coming from the public sector.

Africa needs to create an African climate change fund through collaboration amongst African institutions such as the African Union Commission, the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank.

Mitigation & Adaptation

To support climate change mitigation activities in developing nations Western nations were asked to set at least US$200 billion (0.5 per cent from their GDP) by 2020.

Rich nations need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 80 to 95 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Africa also demanded from the West better climate change adaptation fund worth US$67 billion per year by 2020.

Developed countries should commit to the deployment, diffusion and transfer of technology to developing countries, based on principles of accessibility, affordability, appropriateness and adaptability. (NYT, 9/20/09)

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