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Cancuún México 29 de noviembre - 10 de diciembre 
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Ethiopian PM, wants end to climate change woes

The Guardian

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Zenawi Meles, and other leaders yesterday urged an end to the problems of  climate change in Africa and other parts of the world. But Meles stated  that forthcoming climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, and Johannesburg, South Africa, will fail if the  disposition of the developed countries concerning the issue is not reviewed.

Responding to questions during yesterday’s first plenary session at the ongoing Seventh African Development Forum (ADF VII) in Addis Ababa, Meles said lack of good global leadership expected at this period, was expressed in the irresponsible actions in certain advanced countries.

“The political leaders are not ready to take risks on climate change issues. You have all sorts of strange opinions among the most advanced countries of the world. Their basic interests thrive in an atmosphere of parochialism. This lack of global leadership should not, however, be seen in the context of failure of negotiation,” he said.

The session also had in attendance the Prime Minister of Norway, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg; President of Guyana, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo; the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Mr. Donald Kaberruka, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Mr. Jean Ping.  United Kingdom’s Prince of Wales (Charles) also addressed the session through a satellite video.

Prince Charles, who is a prominent global environmental campaigner, said the world needed to collectively act decisively to slow down climate change and limit its impact. “I cannot tell you how delighted I was to learn the discussions of the ADF-VII are focusing on the vital issue of climate change and how we tackle this immense challenge, while at the same time building sound economic development strategies.

“All my experience, all my instincts tell me there is no more important question before the international community (than climate change). Our ability to tackle it will have profound impact on our future and that of our children and grandchildren,” he said.

But Meles, while appreciating efforts in certain of advanced countries, declared that a majority of opinions within political leadership in these countries, which were chiefly responsible for the pollution of the atmosphere, were not in favour of the African continent.

He specifically accused UK’s conservative political party, which has decided that it will carry out severe budget cuts in foreign aid, as one of such groups in Europe not concerned about the African continent, which is the most vulnerable region to effects of climate change.

He said the coming meetings in Cancun and South Africa were already doomed to fail if urgent steps were not taken to re-direct the minds of those who still did not appreciate that Africa deserved the greatest attention. “China and India are the biggest beneficiaries of development aid. Maybe this is so because these countries have the capacity to mess up the world. Africa has no capacity to mess up the world. That’s why they pay China and India. We have no choice but to embark on Green Development.”

But Africa, according to Ping, needs to adopt a common position. “The African Union should put in place a mechanism for Africa to speak with one voice. We must be coherent. And if Africa agrees on a common position, we must be disciplined.”

Basking in Meles’ recognition of Norway among the few advanced countries with fair understanding of issues at stake and as they specifically affected Africa, Prime Minister Stoltenberg, said there was a huge resentment in his country. “There are two major political parties in Norway and the biggest opposition party is strictly against financing developing aid. They think we should keep the money to ourselves,” he informed the gathering.

Without agreement on climate financing, Stoltenberg, who chaired Tuesday’s UN Secretary-General’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change, said there would be no agreement on climate actions.    “Global warming is unfair. Poor countries did not cause climate change. Rich countries did. But all countries, rich and poor, will be affected. However, it is the most vulnerable, the poorest countries and peoples, those who have contributed the least to climate change, who will suffer the most”, he said.

Africa is the region with the lowest greenhouse gas emissionsn at only four per cent of the global total.   Stoltenberg reiterated that the world could not leave Africa to deal with consequences of global warming on its own. “In the Copenhagen Accord, we made important commitments. The developed countries agreed to mobilise US$100 billion per year for climate actions in developing countries by 2020, to finance both adaptation and mitigation,” he said.

However, Meles challenged of the gathering when he declared that the attitude of Norwegian opposition political party against developing aid was not without careful calculation on the Norwegian part. He noted that Norway being a cold country could only benefit from global warming while the country’s oil deposits will also experience a boom due to the warming. “As such, their position, as irresponsible as it may appear, is well calculated. They do not care about what happens to Africa. But if Africa goes under due to global warming, the world too will ultimately go under, sooner or later, ” he said.

Not done, Meles declared: “We will not accept to pay for the climate crimes imposed on us. We will not lie down. With global warming, the fact is that we are already paying too much. We are always at the receiving end. We are not going to wait with our arms folded, until these people come to sanity.

“Leadership in our case means fighting for every cent we can get. At the same time, we must be doing whatever we can to adapt. We cannot say because they refused to pay up, we should allow them to destroy our continent.”

Frowning at what he called so-call aid to Africa, Meles insisted that there was nothing like that. “What they call development aid to Africa is just down payouts on reparation,” he said.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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