Africa Must Unite to Drive Agendas Through at Copenhagen

Kenya-Drought - Effects of Climate Change

Kenya-Drought - Effects of Climate Change

Nairobi, Kenya—African countries must put on the table clearly articulated and budgeted programs and projects at Copenhagen to help the continent meet its climate mitigation and adaptation challenges. The appeal was made by Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki before he left for Copenhagen on Tuesday. The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Denmark opened on the 7th and closes on the 18th of December 2009. The president is expected to address the issue of Climate Change alongside the deep rooted consequences of poverty including access to energy, food security and conflict resolution in Africa. On Monday, African countries snubbed talks at Copenhagen following rich countries’ reluctance to discuss binding emissions reductions which brought chaos to the negotiations. The rich countries are accused of trying to delay discussions on the only mechanism to deliver this – the Kyoto Protocol.

Kenya’s president asserted that Africa must talk with one voice to ensure continued commitment and support to the Kyoto Protocol as the only legal and political basis for dealing with devastating effects of climatic change in the region. Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of Oxfam International called this a tit for tat approach and that its no way to deal with the climate crisis. Delegates from African countries have strongly criticized the president of the Climate Conference, Connie Hedegaard, for her decision to engage in informal consultations with the delegates.

President Mwai KibakiAfrica’s chief negotiator at the conference, Djemouoi Kamez, said his group would not accept informal consultations on long-term actions unless the issues related to the Kyoto protocol is addressed first. The delay means the crucial Kyoto-Protocol will be shelved.The African continent has suffered shocking effects from Climate change despite its minimal contribution to the global threat. According to Kenya’s Presidential Press Service Unit, the President observes that access to adequate and predictable financial resources would help redress the damage already done through global warming as a result of excessive carbon emissions by the industrial world. The Kyoto Protocol has more powerful and legally binding measures. Under this agreement, 36 developed nations are committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions an average of 5.2 percent during the period 2008-2012.

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