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Failure of UN Conference on Climate Change

Over and over again the Africa group negotiating at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, repeated the statement: “Africa is very disappointed in what’s on the table in Copenhagen.” They told the negotiators and the observers in the plenary assemblies and in their press conferences.  What is being promised cannot even ensure that the increase in global warming will not reach a cap of 2 degrees Celsius.  We need a cap of no more than 1.5 degrees or the science estimates Africa’s temperatures will increase by 3.5-4 degrees. Our continent will become a furnace. Our water will dry up and our agriculture will fail.

This illustrates the urgency felt by Africa and the small island states like Cape Verde and Tuvalu that the negotiations realize a fair, ambitious and legal binding outcome. Instead what came out of Copenhagen was an “accord” negotiated in secret by the United States under President Obama in which there were no commitments to reducing carbon emissions nor providing money to assist poor nations in their efforts to adapt climate change.  Neither was there any mention of reducing emissions through the REDD forest management process – something that had been negotiated earlier in the Copenhagen meeting.

Those of us from the so-called developed world need to continue to exert pressure on our leaders to negotiate and seal a deal that can save our planet.  For more information on the Convention including webcasts from many of the key players.

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