News / Africa

African Leaders Criticize Climate Proposals by Developed World

Eugene Nforngwa
Africa came to the Doha climate change summit with a basket of expectations. But the first full week of negotiations have not been promising. Campaigners say rich countries have been evasive on almost every major issue, from climate finance to the reduction of emissions.
 
African campaigners said they do not expect a promising outcome. And as ministers prepared to join the talks at a higher level, campaigners took to the streets.
 
Hundreds of activists from around the world joined the December 3rd march in the Qatari capital Doha, site of the 18th conference of parties to the UN Climate Change Convention, or the UNFCCC.
 
The goal of the march was to draw global attention to the urgent need to tackle climate change and other related issues. For African participants, it was an opportunity to air their frustrations with the status of negotiations.
 
The marchers say despite warnings from the scientific community, rich nations refuse to undertake deep emissions cuts to help limit the rise in global temperatures to well below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
 
They also fear industrialized countries will not make binding commitments to channel badly needed assistance to help poor countries deal with the adverse effects of climate change.
 
Augustine Njamnshi is the chair of the steering committee of the PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance, PACJA. The alliance is a group of over 300 African NGOs that’s been pushing for a fair deal at the Doha summit.
 
Njamnshi says Africa’s survival depends on rich nations taking responsibility for historic emissions that have caused climate change and by providing Africa with adaptation funds.
 
"[If significant emission cuts are not made]," he said, "Africa will burn and its development will be compromised. Africa’s people will be in danger because of the negative effects of climate change like droughts and floods. These will be compounded by the lack of means to adapt to the situation. If there are no deep emission cuts, what we are seeing today will be compounded in the years ahead. These talks are very critical for Africa."
 
Rich countries recognize the need to cut emissions, but campaigners say they are unwilling to make legally binding commitments. By pushing through carbon trading, industrialized countries hope to continue polluting as long as they can purchase carbon credits from less industrialized countries.
 
PACJA has issued a statement warning that this would lead to catastrophic rise in global temperatures. It says an increase of two degrees Celsius as demanded by rich countries would worsen floods, hamper food production and fuel the spread of disease.
 
With this is mind, African negotiators at the conference want rich countries to cut their emissions by 40% by 2017 based on 1990 levels. In the long term, they are pushing for emission cuts of up to 95 percent by 2050.
 
A few countries like Australia, Kazakhstan and Liechtenstein have pledged cuts of between 78 and 99%. But they have said they would only deliver if rich countries make similar commitments.
 
For now, that looks very unlikely to happen at this conference.  
 
Africa’s other major fear is that a deal will not be reached on a new round of predictable climate financing. Fast Track Financing, a two-year regime to channel money from rich countries to help poor countries deal with climate change, expires at the end of this year.
 
There has already been a disagreement over whether rich nations have honored their Fast Track pledges. Industrialized countries say they have surpassed a $30 billion target by $3 billion. But poor countries say only $25.9 billion has been honored. In addition, poor countries say most of the money does not count because it was part of traditional official development assistance and so was neither new nor additional. Some of the money was also disbursed as loans and not grants.
 
There is also uncertainty about the Green Climate Fund, which is about to become operational. It was established two years ago and will transfer climate funds from rich countries to poor countries. Rich countries promised $100 billion to the fund annually between 2009 and 2012 but have so far failed to honor it.
 
African negotiators say rich countries owe that amount because they have polluted the atmosphere for centuries and caused climate change. But the succession of failed promises has weakened Africa’s trust in the ability of developed countries to deliver financial assistance. And as the last round of negotiations begin, negotiators and campaigners alike are at best cautiously optimistic.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Scurts from: USA
December 03, 2012 12:45 PM
I wish you good luck on your hopes and dreams. KMA


by: beantownbilly from: grenada
December 03, 2012 12:17 PM
This is not about climate nor science. It is about income re-distribution from north to south. Africa has been getting warmer and dryer since Homo Sapien came out-of-Africa 500,000 years ago. 5000 years ago Egypt was the lush grain basket of civilization. Today, as we move further from the last ice age, which ended 15,000 years ago, Egypt has slowly become mostly desert. This change is not a result of the industrialization of mankind, but natural forces which push ice south from the poles every 40,000 or 50,000 years, exacerbated by over population. Short of reducing our head count, which is a political non-starter, we are powerless to change climate.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


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