Africa afraid of being taken hostage
An interesting blog on the COP15-website. It would be very brave of African countries to walk out of the Bella Center in Copenhagen if the deal gets to bad in December. However, having been in Eritrea and see firsthand what happens if a country is „self-relied“ and „strong and honest“ makes me wonder if this strategy, while being morally probably the better one, is in realpolitik really senseful. Interesting that the otherwise rather mainstreamed WWF has the position stated here.
Highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, Africa badly needs an agreement in Copenhagen. But an agreement could become so weak, that it would be better to walk away, some analysts say.
Can a global deal become so weak that Africa will do better by walking out of the UN negotiations in Copenhagen this December? The issue is being debated at news site AllAfrica as a new report by two UN institutions highlights the continent’s vulnerability to climate change.
„If the (Copenhagen) deal does not respond to the expectation of African nations to adapt to climate change, (and) if it fails to provide the necessary finance, technology and capacity building, then Africa should consider not signing in Copenhagen,“ argues Hawa Sow, Africa Climate Policy Coordinator at global conservation organization WWF, adding that „a really bad deal could be worse than no deal“.
The opposite view is held by Gabriel Odima, President of the US based Africa Center for Peace and Democracy:
„(The African continent) is facing a real challenge in dealing with climate change. Poor governance, lack of democracy, lack of political will and institutional framework are some of the challenges facing Africa. But threatening to walk away from the negotiations is not a wise idea,“ Gabriel Odima states, while adding that „the African Union should put its house in order first and come up with a workable plan to address the problems relating to climate change in Africa.“
WWF’s Africa Climate Policy Coordinator does not try to hide the fact that following the international negotiations has made her pessimistic.
„We would like the Copenhagen deal to provide special help and treatment for Africa and other vulnerable countries, but at the current state of the negotiations, we are not very confident that this will happen to a high enough level,“ she says.
„Suggestions that we can do without the Kyoto Protocol (as has been suggested by primarily USA, editors remark) and replace it with an entirely new instrument are unproductive at this point. It will take too long, and we have no way of knowing what we will get. And it is very likely that the process will just lead to a prolonged race to the bottom,“ says Hawa Sow.