Africa seeking $40 bln/yr in climate aid

Tue Dec 8, 2009 5:41am GMT

By Christian Lowe and Tarek Amara

TUNIS (Reuters) - Rich nations at the Copenhagen climate summit should commit $40 billion a year in new money to help Africa tackle the consequences of global warming, the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Monday.

Donald Kaberuka said he wanted to see a "willingess by rich countries to dig into their pockets to enable low-income countries to adapt to climate change."

"Climate change is costing this continent almost 3 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) per year. Now translate that into numbers, the kind of things we need: about $40 billion a year," he told Reuters in an interview.

Asked about the consequences for Africa of failure at the summit in Denmark, he said: "We have no choice. An agreement is needed in Copenhagen or soon thereafter."

"We are suffering already the effect of climate change so the idea that somehow we can go to Copenhagen and expect no outcome is a terrible one to think about," Kaberuka said at the AfDB's headquarters in Tunis.

Negotiations began in the Danish capital on Monday between 190 countries on a treaty designed to curb emissions of greenhouse gases and combat the effects of climate change, including rising seas, desertification and floods.

African leaders say their continent has been hit particularly hard by climate change -- and stands to suffer more if it continues unchecked -- because of the fragility of many African economies.

Kaberuka said Africa would spend the $40 billion a year on helping countries adapt to climate change, on energy sources that are low on harmful emissions, and on measures like preserving forests to help absorb excess carbon dioxide.   Continued...

<p>African Development Bank president Donald Kaberuka during a news conference in Washington, April 26, 2009. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas</p>
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