Africa wants $67 billion a year in global warming funds

Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:13pm GMT

By Tsegaye Tadesse

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - African leaders will ask rich nations for $67 billion per year from 2020 to cushion the impact of global warming on the world's poorest continent, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters on Monday.

Environment and agriculture ministers from several nations are meeting at African Union (AU) headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to try to agree a common stance before 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.

"This is the time for Africa to aggressively engage to ensure that climate change is effectively addressed," Jean Ping, chairman of the AU Commission, told delegates.

"Africa's development aspirations will be destroyed unless steps are taken to arrest the impact of climate change."

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

AU sources said that, if passed, the resolution would call for the funds to be paid each year beginning in 2020. No date was set for them to stop.

AU officials say there had been serious limitations on Africa's ability to negotiate in the past because of a lack of a coherent stance on global warming by African governments.   Continued...

<p>African delegates listen to speeches at the African Union summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh,June 30, 2008. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih</p>
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