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Africa: Conference to Craft Common Negotiating Position on Climate Change

(Aug. 25, 2009) It was reported on August 24, 2009, that representatives and experts of ten African nations have convened a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to forge a common stance on climate change before the United Nations conference slated for December in Copenhagen, on the renegotiation of the Kyoto Protocol, takes place. One of the major reasons for seeking a common negotiating platform is what one document refers to as the “dismal co-ordination” among the African states in advancing their position thus far. Delegations of individual countries, moreover, have met with only limited success in making the argument that the African continent requires special help in meeting the challenges of climate change. (Africa Seeks Climate Change Cash, BBC NEWS, Aug. 24, 2009, available at

According to Alice Kaudia, Environment Secretary in Kenya's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Africa's development should not repeat the same mistakes made by the developed world in creating high levels of harmful emissions that have global repercussions. Among the proposals to be discussed by the participating African officials are that the developed countries be asked to cut emissions by at least 40% by 2020 and that the richer nations provide the poorer ones $67 billion a year to deal with global warming. The participants also hope to reach agreement on “a set of key ideas in order to help national delegations to the UN negotiations in Copenhagen … present a co-ordinated position.” (Id.)