Home | News    Wednesday 9 December 2009

Africans could vanish if Copenhagen fails – AU chief

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

December 8, 2009 (ADDIS ABABA) – As a decisive UN climate change conference opens in Copenhagen, Denmark, the African Union chairman Jean Ping, warns that the African population could face an unprecedented disaster, if world leaders now fail to reach on a new and binding deal on climate change.

The Two-week long summit, expected to decide on the future fate of the planet, opened on Monday attracting negotiators from 192 countries.

Mr. Jean Ping made the strong remarks yesterday in Vienna at a UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) annual conference.

‘‘If nothing happens we (Africans) will vanish’’ he told reporters.

The AU leader further said that climate change-triggered natural catastrophes like deadly floods and droughts have become reality in the developing world.

An African negotiating team led by Ethiopian Prime minister, Meles Zenawi is set to voice continent’s common stance at the summit during a climax of the summit.

In October, at a meeting in Addis Ababa, the African negotiating team has warned in strongest terms that it would walk-out of the meeting if world’s industrialized giants refrain to make concrete commitment to tackle climate change or fail to meet Africa’s demands.

The Copenhagen climate summit is considered as the most important summit in the history of UN climate conference.

It is believed that the summit could be the best and only chance for world leaders to save the planet from calamitous global warming threat.

World’s most polluting country, the US and other leaders of the industrialized countries must now act before it is late. They should come to agreement without any hesitation and dispute.

The summit should avoid trading accusations on the degree of country’s past emission records, but to rather act swiftly, as there is no time for blaming one another and if so, they must put in their minds that with no doubt that someone in Africa or other developing country is dying of a climate change-related consequence by the moment they warm up their chairs refraining to make a sound course of action.

Africa says that what’s going on now is an environmental crime being committed against poor countries by the industrialized world.

African leaders argue that the continent has contributed virtually nothing to climate change (3%).But it is the prime continent paying the price.

Africa is now seeking Billions of dollars as compensation to climate change damages, has looking for a major emission cut by rich countries and a continuous support for poverty eradication and sustainable development.

(ST)