News / Africa

African Group Narrows Climate Focus in Durban

Demonstrators at climate change summit, Durban, South Africa, December 2, 2011.
Demonstrators at climate change summit, Durban, South Africa, December 2, 2011.
Gabe Joselow

African delegates at United Nations climate talks in South Africa have narrowed their focus on two key priorities, as time runs out for negotiators to agree on any major deals to combat climate change.

The African Group at the COP17 climate conference is continuing to push for a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol, a legal mandate that binds governments to cut emissions blamed for global warming.

Although no African nations are part of the Kyoto Protocol, African Group lead negotiator Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, said Thursday that the mechanism is effective for cutting emissions and a good template for a future global agreement. He added that African countries also are willing to commit to emissions cuts, if they receive support from the international community.

"Because Africa has said for the longest time that we're willing to undertake action as long as that action is supported through the means of implementation: i.e., finance, technology transfer and capacity building," he said. "But we are willing to do our fair share in order to resolve this global issue."

That introduces the second priority for the African Group: financing. The group wants nations to finalize agreements made at the last U.N. climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, to establish a Green Climate Fund to help developing nations.

Mpanu-Mpanu says his group has narrowed its push to these two priorities - the Kyoto Protocol and financing - in the final hours of COP17, which is scheduled to end Friday.

"Whether we are reducing our priorities to two, while yesterday I spoke about five priorities, I will even go further and say that the priority that we have is only one: to keep one billion Africans safe as regards the adverse effect of a climate change phenomenon to which they did not contribute."

At the opening ceremony for the African Pavilion in Durban, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi praised African delegates for speaking with one voice at the conference. The African Group, which represents 54 nations, has presented a united front throughout the negotiations, with few disagreements among them.

Meles also spoke about the importance of securing financing for African developing projects. He noted that, because African nations are among the least developed in the world, they have tremendous opportunity to grow in an environmentally responsible way.

“It doesn't make sense at all when you are carrying out investment in the green field investment area to start with yesterday's technology," said the Ethiopian prime minister. "We have to start with what is viable in the future. Therefore climate-resilient development is our only option."

Although 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.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid