News / Africa

African Delegates Demand Immediate Action at Climate Conference

Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, speaks during the opening of the Green Solutions @ COP16 in Cancun. (File Photo)
Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, speaks during the opening of the Green Solutions @ COP16 in Cancun. (File Photo)
Gabe Joselow

A Nobel Prize-winning panel of scientists has said Africa is the continent facing the greatest risks from the effects of global warming. African delegates are demanding immediate action from all parties at the U.N. climate conference in Durban, South Africa to avert further environmental destruction.  

As host of this year's U.N. climate summit, known as COP17, Africa is taking a leading role among the developing regions most affected by climate change.

While Africa produces the least amount of carbon dioxide of any other region in the world, it is considered the most vulnerable to droughts, floods and other extreme weather events that scientists say will increase as the Earth gets hotter.

The head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, delivered these grave statistics Wednesday, to delegates at COP17.

“Our assessment indicated that in Africa by 2020 between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change," the doctor said. "In 2020 in some countries yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent.”

Pachauri was talking about a report put out a few years ago from the IPCC - a panel of scientists that was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their work on understanding and publicizing the effects of climate change.

African delegates at the climate conference are trying to secure concrete action in regard to several deals being considered here in Durban.

In particular, the African Group, which represents 54 countries, is lobbying for a new commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 agreement that legally binds signatory governments to cutting their carbon emissions.

Africans are also calling for the implementation of a Green Climate Fund that will be used to finance projects in developing countries.

“We need a second commitment period to actually tackle that issue and at the same time we need to seriously think about the mobilization of the financial resources that are needed to tackle adaptation," explained Seyni Nafo, a spokesperson for the African Group. "And we've yet to have that discussion. That discussion has yet to happen in this process.”

Nafo said the African Group hopes nations at COP17 can agree to emission cuts or global financing, saying Africa's future is at stake. He added, if the talks fail, there is no “Plan B.”

“We'll have to have a consensus, I don't like the word compromise because millions of lives are at stake and I think that we really need to have a good outcome,” said Nafo.

The notion of a new commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol is strongly supported by the European Union and many developing countries, but is losing support from other members including Japan, Russia and Canada.

The proposed Green Climate Fund is also under consideration.  A transitional committee established at the last U.N. conference in Cancun has presented a text of the agreement.  Countries are still trying to work out logistical details for financing and governing the fund.

The African Group insists that the fund be used to finance governments and projects in developing countries -- and that the money is not spent on development agencies and private firms from rich countries.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid