Monday, May 18, 2009

Africa may benefit from global climate efforts

An opinion piece by Abdoulie Janneh, via New Vision (Uganda). Janneh is the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: …As we prepare for Copenhagen in December 2009, where measures to deal with the global climate challenge will be agreed, we must make sure that the interests of the most vulnerable and least developed countries are not forgotten.

The global effort, as a central pillar of response to climate change, offers Africa an opportunity, in terms of providing a platform for strengthening and establishing new regional and international partnerships, even in the business sector. There is plenty of room for cooperation and joint efforts.

…Over the past few years, one of the key sources for additional private investment in clean technology in developing countries is the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The protocol allows industrialised countries to make investments to reduce green house gas emissions where the impact of the investments is greatest. This is a win-win and cost-effective solution. It has helped to transfer investments and technology from developed to developing countries. It also allows entry into the international carbon market.

So far, a total of 1,450 CDM projects have been registered, resulting in the reduction of 270 million tonnes of green house gases. Most of these projects are in Asia. Very few are in Africa.

This regional disparity is one of the main weaknesses of the CDM, but also one that can and has to be corrected for African countries to meaningfully benefit from it. In addition, greater domestic capacity and institutional support in Africa are needed for the project, but the requirements are far from insurmountable. The necessary reform of the CDM, to make it administratively less burdensome, while ensuring its integrity, should facilitate this further…..

The Jukskei Rivers about 5 km downstream from its source. Photo taken by NJR ZA behind Goldfields Kennel Club about 150 meter upstream from Gillooly's Farm. Johannesburg, South Africa. Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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