Developing States need help combating climate change, Mozambican leader tells UN
Developing countries bear the brunt of climate change and need international assistance to help them mitigate its effects, the President of Mozambique told the United Nations General Assembly today.
Addressing the Assembly’s annual high-level debate, Armando Emí Guebuza said increases in extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels and other effects of climate change are “felt more harshly in developing countries” which lack the capacity to properly respond.
“More than ever, and in the face of recurrent and more and more devastating tragedies, there is a need for involvement of all members of the international community in the implementation of global actions enshrined in [international] commitments,” he said.
The Mozambican President praised Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for having convened an unprecedented global gathering on the issue earlier this week, which he said “opens up new prospects for the renewed momentum required so that substantial progress can be made during the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held this December in Bali, Indonesia.”
That meeting will be tasked with hammering out a successor to the Convention’s Kyoto Protocol, which contains legally binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions but is set to expire in 2012.
The President of Zambia, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, said his country needs assistance in such areas as scientific research, early warning and rapid response to address the effects of climate change.
“Zambia calls for speedy development and transfer of appropriate technologies to help us cope with the negative impacts of climate change as well as put us on a low-carbon economic growth path,” he said.
For its part, Zambia pledged to reduce emissions from industry and other sources, he said. “We call upon industrialized countries, who have a history of producing these emissions, to take serious steps to reduce them,” he said.
“We believe the situation is now serious and narrow national interests in this matter must be discarded.”
King Mswati III of Swaziland said that while countries like his own had developed “pro-green” policies, there was still a need for access to and transfer of environmentally-friendly technologies, particularly from developed to developing countries.
He called for measures to promote technology cooperation which would not only enable the transfer of crucial technological know-how but also help build up local capacity for the efficient use and further development of the transferred technology.
The Swazi leader also encouraged the private sector, particularly multinational corporations, “to be responsible enough to practice in the developing world the same environmental and waste management principles that they practice in the developed world,” including by not dumping harmful waste materials in developing countries.
Micheline Calmy-Rey, President of Switzerland, said her country has also felt the effects of climate change. “Glaciers are receding and floods are on the increase,” she said. “As far as my country is concerned, the cost of efforts to save the planet affordable, considering the technology that already exists.”
She pointed out that the international community has come together to address poverty and to promote peace and respect for human rights, but added, “our efforts in relation to environmental challenges have not gone far enough.”
Treaties and other mechanisms to deal with the question are fragmented, she said. “We need therefore to unite in order to identify and implement these objectives so that we may make more economical use of the available resources and energy, and protect the biosphere.”
Toward that end, she called for a significant reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change. “We also need to help the countries most affected by these changes, the least developed among them in particular, to develop and implement strategies that will enable them to adapt to the changes, and alleviate the adverse effects on them as much as possible.”