News

    African Leaders Renew Call for Binding Climate Deal

    On the final day of UN climate talks in Copenhagen, African leaders have renewed calls for a legally binding deal to fight climate change.

    Sweden's PM Fredrik Reinfeldt (L), European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso (2ndR), Ethiopia's PM Meles Zenawi and AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping (R) give a news conference in Copenhagen, 16 Dec 2009
    Sweden's PM Fredrik Reinfeldt (L), European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso (2ndR), Ethiopia's PM Meles Zenawi and AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping (R) give a news conference in Copenhagen, 16 Dec 2009

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Speaking on behalf of the G77 group of developing countries, Sudanese presidential assistant Nafi Ali Nafi pressed for world leaders to sign a legally binding deal to fight climate change.

    "The developing countries have the most to lose if there are no concrete result of our discussions. We are therefore the most concerned that we arrive at a successful outcome," he said.

    A legal deal would see binding cuts in greenhouse gas emissions for developed countries and a concrete financial plan on how to help poor countries deal with climate change.

    But in the final day of the Copenhagen summit, most observers say a legally binding deal is an unlikely outcome of these talks.

    Instead, they say, a more likely outcome would be a political agreement that would include targets for reductions in carbon emissions by 2020.

    Friday a draft for such a text was leaked to the media. In it, one of the major issues was addressed - how to help poor countries deal financially with climate change.

    According to the draft, rich countries will provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing nations cut their emissions and adapt to climate change.

    Speaking Friday, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zinawi confirmed a message he made earlier in the week - that this sum is a fair one.

    "We have the proposal that I made on behalf of Africa, a proposal that I believe is fair and just and do-able, a proposal that I'm convinced has the support not only of Africa and the developing countries as a whole, but also of many developed countries," he said.

    But some African delegates and activists warn that a $100 billion annual fund won't be enough to help poor countries cope with the chaos climate change is already bringing to parts of Africa.

    Robert Bailey, a spokesman for the aid group Oxfam International, says $200 billion a year is the minimum needed to ensure poor countries can deal with rapid environmental change.

    And he adds that no commitments have so far been made about where the $100 billion being discussed will be found.

    "There is not a clear commitment that this money is going to be public money that is going to predictable money that is paid from one government into a fund that can then be dispersed in an equitable and balanced way," he said.

    The two key stumbling blocks at Copenhagen are climate finance and the extent to which countries will cut their green house gas emissions.

    In 2007 a panel of U.N. climate scientists suggested emissions would have to fall by a minimum of 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to avert the worst affects of climate change including extreme drought and flooding.

    The offers of industrialized countries are right now falling well below that target, with the United States committing to around a 4 percent cut.

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.