By Tesfa-alem Tekle
November 18, 2009 (ADDIS ABABA) — Africa’s lead negotiator to climate talks, Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi on Tuesday said that continent’s demands from the rich nations on the concerns of climate change is unlikely to be met in next month’s decisive climate summit in Copenhagen.
"We have only a few weeks between now and Copenhagen. The indications that we get are not very encouraging," Meles said at Addis Ababa meeting of the committee of head of states and government on climate change (CAHOSCC).
"Indeed we have prioritized our requirements. First and foremost we need to make sure that global warming does not go beyond two degrees and that carbon emissions peak by at the latest 2020," he added.
African leaders have agreed to voice out a common position at next month’s climate summit in Copenhagen.
Africa insists it should be compensated by billions of Dollars every year for its almost zero contribution to global warming but still one paying the price of the consequences of climate change caused by the rich and industrialized nations.
Unless world’s industrialized countries took a concrete measure to cut their carbon emissions and provide the poor continent persistent support in terms of technology and capacity building to cope up the threat, the impact will be devastating as the Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi states.
“Africa is going to be hit hardest and it’s going to be hit first," said Meles.
"So we as Africans have more stake than perhaps anybody else.... in making sure that there is a robust fair and practical agreement in Copenhagen.”
Recent studies indicate that climate change damages could cost Africa around 30 billion dollar by the year 2015.
The top negotiator however declined to state a specific figure of compensation, but said his group had already set up a minimum, which could amount to "the hundred billion dollar per annum mark as of 2020 that has been set by some experts."
The countries that make up the CAHOSCC are Ethiopia, Libya, Algeria, Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius and Mozambique.
The latest meeting discussed strategies for Copenhagen climate talks on the basis of the current state of play concerning ongoing negotiations and the proposal made by ministers as well as the institutional mechanism for continuation of the CAHOSCC consultations, amongst other climate change related issues.