News / Africa

Environmental Groups Praise BASIC Meeting on Climate Change

Environmental groups are giving qualified praise to a conference on climate change by four major nations in the developing world.  During a meeting in South Africa, they made recommendations aimed at boosting talks on reducing carbon emissions. 

Activists have welcomed the call by Brazil, South Africa, India and China, known as the BASIC countries, for a global, legally binding agreement on climate change by the end of next year.

A political advisor for Greenpeace Africa, Themba Linden, said the meeting in Cape Town was a positive development, after the near-failure of the U.N. climate change conference last December in Copenhagen.

"There is momentum coming out of these countries after what was essentially an almost collapsed negotiation in Copenhagen," he said. "And certainly the whole approach of the BASIC countries since Copenhagen has been one of trying to create more opportunities for discussion and essential speeding up the whole schedule."

The Copenhagen Conference was widely criticized for failing to produce a treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

A small group of nations led by the United States eventually drafted a last-minute accord that has been endorsed by 120 governments, but is still viewed by many as insufficient.

Linden said especially helpful was China's new willingness to back legally binding emission reductions, which it had previously opposed.

"China openly calling for a legally binding agreement, this is awesome progress, definitely," he said.  "And also Greenpeace Africa is very happy with the continued concern shown by these ministers for vulnerable countries."

He noted that the emerging economies of the BASIC countries are now responsible for about 30 percent of carbon emissions worldwide.  Yet, as developing nations, they are in a good position to defend and bring the least wealthy nations back into the negotiations after they were largely sidelined in Copenhagen.

South Africa's Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica, speaking at the end of the Cape Town meeting, urged industrialized nations to fulfill short and medium-term financing commitments to the most vulnerable nations as agreed in Copenhagen.

"The commitments to provide finance must be operationalized, both the $30 billion for 2010-2012 and the $100 billion annually by 2020 should be provided by developed countries," he said.

The least wealthy countries, many of which are highly vulnerable to climate change, are concerned that industrialized nations will take funds from existing poverty-alleviation programs to fulfill their short-term pledges on climate change.  They want additional funds for their emission reduction efforts

Linden said the issue of short-term financing could be one of the breakthroughs that are needed to rebuild trust between the various parties.

He welcomed the pledge by BASIC countries to help the most vulnerable nations implement emission reduction programs, but noted the pledge is vague.

"We think the BASIC countries have covered a lot of points in this meeting quite clearly," said Linden. "But we desperately need more detail.  We are still lacking detail on how they are going to translate this into action."

Activists note that BASIC countries have scheduled two more meetings prior to the next global conference in Cancun, Mexico, this December.  They say this might provide the momentum needed for a successful conference.

But they say a large gulf remains between the various positions on emission reductions and as a result many are looking more realistically to the conference next year in South Africa for the accord, which they say the world so desperately needs.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid