Category: "Copenhagen Climate Summit"

Ethiopia - Meles calls for a three-year, 30 billion dollars "fast-start" fund

December 16th, 2009


Africa, backed by EU, tables climate fund

Source: AFP

COPENHAGEN —
The African group of nations, backed by the European Union, tabled a plan at UN climate talks Wednesday for rich countries to help developing ones cope with global warming and green their economies.

Put forward by Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi, who heads the group, the proposal calls for a three-year, 30 billion dollars "fast-start" fund starting in 2010.

This would progress to 50 billion dollars annually in 2015, and 100 billion within a decade.

The latter figure is well below the 400 billion dollars -- one percent of the GDP of rich countries -- called for by the G77 group of 130 developing nations.

But it matches the amount EU leaders have said developing countries would need each, potentially laying the ground for agreement on long-term funding.

"I know my proposal will disappoint those Africans who, from the point of view of justice, have asked for full compensation of the damage done to our development prospects," Meles told a ministerial meeting of the 194-nation UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

"Because we have more to lose than others, we have to be prepared to be flexible," he said.

How much money poor nations need to adapt to rising seas, droughts and floods, and to reduce their carbon emissions, is one of the most critical -- and up to now contentious -- issues blocking the troubled talks.

Separately on Wednesday, Japan said it would offer 1.75 trillion yen (19.5 billion dollars at current exchange rates) for the three-year fund, giving a boost to the Copenhagen process less than two days before some 120 world leaders convene in an attempt to seal a planet-saving deal.

Europe has previously said it would cough up 7.2 billion euros (10.6 billion dollars), while the United States has said only that it will pay a "fair share."

For the short-term financing, Meles suggested that a trust fund administered by donor and recipient nations manage the money, and that 40 percent be earmarked for Africa.

At least half the long-term fund should be allocated for adaptation in "vulnerable and poor countries and regions such as Africa and the small island states," he said.

The fund, he added, could be financed through "creative financing mechanisms" such as a carbon tax, the global auction of emission rights, or a tax on commercial air traffic and shipping.

Greenpeace welcomed the announcement, saying it "injected hope into the stalling Copenhagen negotiations."

"Support from the EU for this African proposal clearly increases pressure on US President Obama to recognise the need for long-term funding," said the green group's EU policy director Joris den Balnken.

Ethiopia - African Delegates accuse Meles Zenawi of shortchanging Africa

December 16th, 2009

Ethiopia - African Delegates accuse Meles Zenawi of shortchanging Africa

As the high level segment got underway, sharp divisions emerged between African leaders. Delegates are accusing Ethiopian Prime minister Meles Zenawi of doing an underhand deal with developed countries to short change Africa. NTVs Pamela Asigi reports on the latest twist and what it means for the continent.

“If Prime Minister Meles wants to sell out the lives and hopes of Africans for a pittance, he is welcome to, but that is not Africa’s position,” said Mithika Mwenda of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.

“Ten billion dollars will not buy developing countries’ citizens enough coffins,” Mr. Di-Aping [Sudanese diplomat and leader of G77] said bitterly last week

"I appreciate what Prime Minister Zenawi says, but I do not agree with most of it. May be because we seem to be on a different wavelength" Senegal's President

"I know my proposal today will disappoint some Africans. My proposal scales back our expectation with respect to the level of funding in return for more reliable funding," Meles Zenawi

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Meles Zenawi's logic seems to be take what you can and run all the way to the bank. What do you think? Is Meles being a sell out or pragmatic politician? Have Your Say


Related Links


Zenawi Stands Alone In Copenhagen

African Group Proposes New Climate Finance Deal

December 16th, 2009


African Group Proposes New Climate Finance Deal

By Selah Hennessy | London

VOA News

African countries scale back amount of money they say will be necessary to cope with climate change

At a climate conference in Copenhagen, African countries have scaled back the amount of money they say will be necessary to cope with climate change.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi addressed the Copenhagen conference Wednesday on behalf of the Africa group.

Speaking on finance - one of the key stumbling blocks at the U.N. climate conference - Mr. Meles outlined the demands of the African nations.

"I support the establishment of a start-up fund of $10 billion per annum for the years of 2010-2012," he said.

He said in the long term much more will be needed.

"Funding for adaptation and mitigation should start by 2013 to reach up to $50 billion per annum by 2015 and $100 billion per annum by 2020," he said.

Mr. Meles' statement comes on the ninth day of climate talks in the Danish capital Copenhagen. The goal of the summit is to come up with a global agreement on how to reign in climate change.

At the center of negotiations lies two key questions. First, to what extent will countries cut their green house gas emissions and second, how much money will go to poor countries in order to help them cope with climate change.

African nations had said they would need double the $100 billion a year that is now being discussed to help them cope with the effects of climate change.

Barry Coates is executive director of Oxfam New Zealand. He says he thinks Africans have put the new lower figure forward in order to ensure a deal will be reached. But he says he doesn't think it will be enough to help vulnerable nations adapt to climate change.

"I think there is an attempt to try and get to some kind of agreement. It is disappointing that that means that there won't be the kind of funding that's needed - particularly for the vulnerable countries," he said.

And he adds mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure that money is allocated specifically for climate change adaptation.

"It's very important to define additionally very carefully. So the funding for climate change is additional to aid, so it doesn't end up essentially trading money from one pocket to another," he said.

African leaders are due to meet with European leaders, including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, late Wednesday,

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Ethiopia - Meles Zenawi Nicolas Sarkozy News Conference - Video

December 16th, 2009
France's President helps Ethiopia's Prime Minister to put his ear piece. Meles was standing as if he understands French

Ethiopia - Meles Zenawi Nicolas Sarkozy News Conference - Video

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy hold press conference at at the Elysee Palace in Paris December 15, 2009. Ethiopia's Prime Minister is in Paris to solicit France's support for African nations in the Climate Summit being held in Copenhagen. Meles is expected to make a stop in London as well.

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) shakes hands with Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as he arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris December 15, 2009.

Ethiopia - Meles Zenawi in Paris - Pictures

December 16th, 2009

Ethiopia - Meles Zenawi in Paris - Pictures

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, left, shakes hands with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, after a press conference following a meeting in Paris, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) shakes hands with Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as he arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris December 15, 2009. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS)

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, left, listens to French President Nicolas Sarkozy during a press conference following a meeting in Paris, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) walks with Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (2nd L) as he leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris December 15, 2009. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS)

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) gives a press conference after a meeting with Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (L) at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (AFP/Gerard Cerles)