Address to the UNFCCC COP 17 by the AfDB President Donald Kaberuka

09/12/2011
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Event: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP17/MOP7

It is unquestionable that the greatest calamities facing humanity this century are global poverty and climate change. It is pertinent, therefore, that we are meeting in Africa – a continent where these two challenges interact at their most. Over the past two weeks we have noted the commitment from all parties towards a successful and expeditious implementation of the Cancun agreements. Today, we would like to leave you with two key messages:

First, we cannot afford to have a gap in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. The clock is ticking. We must reach an agreement to extend the Kyoto Protocol. We therefore urge all parties to muster the political will to close the remaining gap.

Second, we need to get the Green Climate Fund and begin the tasks of making it operational. We wish to commend the COP for establishing the Green Climate Fund in Cancun. We recognize that there will be more to do in the next few months on the governance, access, but above all, the issue of capitalization and need for progress on the innovative sources of funds.  We are keen to see an improvement over the existing instruments that did not fully take into account adaptation as a priority for Africa, the complex procedures for implementation and criteria for access.

In conclusion, let me emphasize here that the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol and a sound financing framework that can provide easy and direct access to recipient countries are necessary components of an acceptable deal in Durban. Our continent, Africa, has made progress over the past 10 years. That risks now to be compromised if no solid agreement is reached here.  The ambitions needed must reflect the weight of scientific evidence and consequences for low income countries.

Africa has waited too long for a deal and cannot afford to wait any longer.

Thank you.