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Africa urged to gear up role in climate change negotiations

04 December 2012, Simba Radio

Observers say Africa risks losing its essential bargains at the ongoing United National Climate Change negotiations in Qatar, if African delegates at the conference don’t play an enhanced role on a number of issues that are still hanging and need to be resolved at least by the end of the two week gathering. Jacqueline Amongin, a Ugandan MP observing the negotiations for the Pan African Parliament says Africa needs to quickly reach consensus on the continent’s key points and start collectively pushing for those. Of immediate concern to Africa is securing a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol and ensuring that amendments to the protocol are adopted before the end of 2012. The second commitment period is critical to Africa’s interests because it commits the world’s biggest polluters to long-term temperature goals, thereby ensuring that the global temperature rise does not further expose Africa to undesirable threats. The observers say, another outstanding issue is the Green Climate Fund which Africa wants to see sufficiently funded. The fund was decided in Cancun in 2010 and got established at last year’s Conference of Parties in Durban-South Africa. It aims to provide support to developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The developed countries have agreed to mobilize $100 billion per annum to the fund by 2020. The fund still remains largely empty and is yet to begin meeting either mitigation or adaptation requirements. Representatives of Africa and LDCs at Doha are pushing for common position to see that financial sack swelling.

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