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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults 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.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid