South Africa: Leaders commit to deal, Africa calls for climate finance
African leaders at the Durban climate talks stressed that it is time the continent got its ‘fair share’ of global climate finance. The talks have been deemed a success with a legally-binding (but not completely defined) deal having been hammered out after a day’s extension.
The African leaders stressed that while the continent is ‘determined to embark resolutely on the path of clean development’, it needs adequate access to climate finance, with a clear link between development, adaptation and mitigation.
A high-level round table at the Africa pavilion featured key stakeholders, including Ethiopia’s prime minister Meles Zenawi, the South African minister in charge of the National Planning Commission Trevor Manuel, the chairman of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, the minister of the Republic of Congo Forest Economy, Henri Djombo, the president of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, the executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Abdoulie Janneh, the director general of the UN Industrial Development Organization, Kendeh Yumkella, and Professor Nicholas Stern from the London School of Economics.
Mr Kaberuka told the meeting that the cohesion between African states was even more important in that ‘the only valid response to the global economic crisis will come from a return to growth. And growth will come from emerging economies and from Africa.’
At a time when the world faces the inter-related challenges of poverty and climate change, Africa can engage on the green growth path only if the Kyoto pledges on carbon credits are honoured and the Green Climate Fund is set up, he added.
UK minister Chris Huhne told the talks that the world ‘must summon the strength to commit to a brighter future’, noting: ‘Nowhere is this more essential than here in Africa, the continent most vulnerable to climate change. For millions of Africans, climate change is not a matter of negotiating texts, informal informals or square brackets. It is a matter – literally – of life and death.’