Climate Change Financing for Africa is not Aid, says Meles

November 29th, 2010 | by addis portal |

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, who is also the African Union’s spokesperson on climate change, urged developed nations to stop considering climate financing for Africa as aid or assistance.

He stressed that the Cancun conference “would be a flop” if leaders of developed countries did not stop considering climate change financing for Africa as aid and assistance.

“It is not aid… it is not assistance… it is paying the price for their carbon emissions for which we in Africa have borne the brunt for too long”; that is, in terms of floods, droughts, food losses, etc. Meles argued.

Amidst low expectations on the outcomes of the conference for Africa, African delegations began arriving Cancun, Mexico over the weekend for the opening of the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol.

Given the disappointments with the last Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen, Denmark, African delegations, seem determined to insist on the continent’s pre-COP 15 African common position, noted the press statement received from the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

But it is not clear just how far African delegates here are willing to be unyielding in standing behind a common position at the present conference.

“Our expectations from the Cancun conference are clearly stated in the African Common Position and I think that if there are any changes as a result of new developments, then it will be articulated by Mr. Meles Zenawi”, according to a delegate from Zambia, who required anonymity because he is not authorized to speak for his government.

Africa would like to change the entire architecture of the UNFCCC as well as that of multilateral financial institutions as regards climate change financing; so as to remove some of the logjams that often impede access to financing for projects already adopted by international institutions and developed countries, according to the conclusions of a recent meeting of experts held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

According to Miriam Talwisa, Policy Analyst at Youth Plus Policy Network in Uganda, an affiliate of Climate Action Network, “Africa should insist on capacity building aspects of the negotiations to be treated as a stand alone issue, otherwise there is little chance that specific commitments would be made here in Cancun”.

ECA is covering COP-16 and has mounted an exhibition stand on African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), its flagship collaboration with the African Development Bank and the African Union. A daily bulletin, Africa Climate Policy, will be issued as a service to the African Group of Negotiators in Cancun.

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