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Analyst says Africa Should Solve its Own Problems Before Asking For Climate Change Help

  • Kim Lewis

Analyst says Africa Should Solve its Own Problems Before Asking For Climate Change Help

Analyst says Africa Should Solve its Own Problems Before Asking For Climate Change Help

Negotiators from around the world say key differences remain at the climate change conference in Copenhagen as talks resumed Tuesday.

One African representative, Nigeria's Victor Fodeke, compared them to a train crash waiting to happen. The African delegates briefly walked out of the talks Monday to protest what they said were efforts by rich nations to undermine the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Afterwards, they were told their voices would be heard.

One analyst disagreed with the decision to walk out. “I think it is not a wise idea for Africa to walk away from the talks because we have had voices from all over the world, particularly from Africa, calling for more funding and funds for technology,” said Gabriel Odima, president of the U.S.-based Africa Center for Peace and Democracy.

“We have also had the blame game and finger-pointing before and during negotiations, particularly during this week,” he added. “But there is a missing link between Africa and developed countries. Until we discover that missing link, there is very little Africa can achieve from this conference.”

The problem, said Odima, is that Africans are under siege from both the impact of climate change and what he called their corrupt leaders. “There is no amount of money that will change the crisis in Africa unless we address the fundamental issues of democracy, good governance, rule of law and accountability.”

The treaty requires rich countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions but does not ask the same of poor nations and developing economies. An extension of the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire in 2012, will be considered, according to officials.

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