Africa Wants $67 Bln a Year in Global Warming Funds

Tsegaye Tadesse, Reuters, August 24, 2009

African leaders will ask rich nations for $67 billion per year to mitigate the impact of global warming on the world’s poorest continent, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters on Monday.

Ten leaders are holding talks at African Union (AU) headquarters in the Ethiopian capital to try to agree a common stance ahead of a U.N. summit on climate change in Copenhagen in December.

Experts say Africa contributes little to the pollution blamed for warming, but is likely to be hit hardest by the droughts, floods, heatwaves and rising sea levels forecast if climate change is not checked.

The draft resolution, which must still be approved by the 10 leaders, called for rich countries to pay $67 billion annually to counter the impact of global warming in Africa.

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CALLS FOR COMPENSATION

Earlier this year, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi called on rich countries to compensate Africa for warming, arguing that pollution in the northern hemisphere may have caused his country’s ruinous famines in the 1980s.

A study commissioned by the Geneva-based Global Humanitarian Forum that was released in May said poor nations bear more than nine-tenths of the human and economic burden of climate change.

The 50 poorest countries, however, contribute less than 1 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions that scientists say are threatening the planet, the report said.

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Developing nations accuse the rich of failing to take the lead in setting deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, and say they are trying to get the poor to shoulder more of the burden of emission curbs without providing aid and technology.

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