Africa takes firm stance on climate change

Africa will neither accept replacement of the Kyoto Protocol, nor its merger with any new agreement, say African climate change negotiators meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the last African major preparatory gathering, before the UN Climate Change negotiations in Copenhagen in December.

Negotiators say actions for Africa should be voluntary and nationally appropriate, and must be fully supported and enabled by technology transfer, finance and capacity building from developed countries. Added to this, any new climate deal must include provision for Africa to be compensated for climate related social and economic losses.

Negotiators also made a strong bid for new, sustained and scaled-up finance to provide technology and capacity to assist with adaptation and risk management related to a changing climate. A key point from the meeting said the provision of financial, technological and capacity building by developed countries for adaptation in developing countries is a commitment under the Convention that must be urgently fulfilled.

It recognises that climate change is an additional burden to sustainable development, and a threat to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Climate change threatens some 20-30 percent of species in Africa with extinction if trends continue. According to a detailed study by Mozambique's national Disaster Management Institute, Mozambique will be overwhelmed by more natural disasters like cyclones, floods, droughts and disease outbreak as a result of climate change in the next twenty years and beyond.

Negotiators said that Africa, as the most vulnerable continent, which has contributed the least to the global greenhouse gas emissions, deserves full support to adapt to climate change. In addition, negotiators stated that for Africa, successful negotiations at the UN Climate Meeting in December in Copenhagen must produce a 2-track outcome. This translates as amendment of Annex B, which includes all developed countries of the Kyoto Protocol for further commitments for the second and subsequent commitment periods of the Protocol.

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