Sunday, November 22, 2009

Africa agrees key issues for Climate Change summit

Africa has agreed on key issues that will be negotiated at the forthcoming Climate Change Summit (COP15) in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia's Prime Mi nister and coordinator of the African negotiating team to the summit.

Addressing journalists at the end of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tuesday, Meles said the two key priorities for Africa at the summit would be mitigation and adaptation.

But with COP15 just weeks away, he said there were no encouraging indications in terms of preparations by developed world.

'There are only few weeks between now and Copenhagen. Indications are not encouraging,' he said.

Speaking on the key issues for Africa, the Ethiopian leader said: 'That [mitigation] is the key priority for Africa because without mitigation no possibility for adaptation. Second key point is adaptation, that is compensation for the dam age caused by the developed countries to the prospects of growth in Africa and other poor countries.'

He said CAHOSCC had identified a number of key points with regards to institutional mechanism and amount of the compensation money, but that the continent would be 'very flexible' on the figures. He did not give figures.

'There are many calculations being made. including 100 billion dollars per annum mark as of 2020 that has been set by some calculators, experts. We will look at all possibilities (and) we will be very flexible on the figures but we have set a minimum beyond which we would not go,' Meles told journalists.

With regards to the negotiating parties at COP15, Meles said CAHOSCC would engage everyone and anyone on the basis of Africa's position.

'We have identified our common priorities and positions and on that basis we will engage everyone to try and expand the circle of agreement,' the Ethiopian leader said.

African leaders have always said the continent has contributed virtually nothing to climate change, even though it is the worst hit by the impact.

'This threat is not only endangering the continent but it is our lives that are at stake,' said AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping, who also attended the meeting along with his Deputy Erastus Mwencha as well as Yoweri Museveni and Mwai Kibaki, Presidents of Uganda and Kenya respectively.

Representatives and experts from the 10 CAHOSCC member states also attended the meeting, the final preparations for COP15.

Libya, Algeria, DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius, Mozambique and Ethiopia are the members of CAHOSCC.

Addis Ababa - 17/11/2009