Rich countries must live up to pledge to help developing world on climate change – UN

13 October 2010

United Nations officials have called on industrialized countries to live up to their multi-billion dollar pledges to help the developing world adapt to climate change at a week-long meeting of several hundred African experts, including Government ministers, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“At Copenhagen, the centrality of financing to underpin effective adaptation and mitigation action was recognized,” Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Abdoulie Janneh told the Seventh African Development Forum today, referring to last December’s conference on climate change.

“Industrialized countries then pledged fast track funding of up to $30 billion between 2010 and 2012 and agreed to reach the goal of mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 for developing countries to implement balanced climate change adaptation and mitigation actions. It is therefore imperative that decisive actions are made to deliver commitments promised at Copenhagen.”

Such actions will send a strong signal that the industrialized countries are committed implementing balanced adaptation and mitigation programmes by Africa and other developing countries and to cultivating a strong spirit of trust, compromise and enhanced collective action, he added, calling for broad-ranging discussions on all dimensions of climate change including the required leadership response.

Speaking on behalf of the youth, African Regional Coordinator Esther Agbarakwe of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) yesterday emphasized the need for advocacy, behaviour change and cultural transformation to enable a shift towards a more sustainable world.

“Climate change is not a localized problem; it transcends national borders, hence the need for co-operation of intergovernmental agencies but also to include those young and vulnerable people,” she said.

The forum, with a strong focus on adaptation strategies through effective action on policies, strategies, programmes and practices, is being co-organized ECA, the African Development Bank and the African Union Commission.

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