From: Gerard Wynn, Reuters
Published November 13, 2006 12:00 AM

U.N. Eyes Climate Change Plan for Africa

NAIROBI — U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan will announce a two-year plan to help Africa respond to global warming when he speaks to an international climate change conference in Nairobi on Wednesday, a U.N. source told Reuters.

Many scientists say that Africa is on the front lines of climate change because most people are poor and vulnerable to any climate changes such as more frequent droughts.

In addition to promoting adaptation projects, the joint U.N. and World Bank initiative will help Africa cut its contribution to climate change by promoting clean energy projects.

"It will help local project developers and African governments," the source said on Monday.

Most scientists say humankind is risking catastrophic global warming by emitting greenhouse gases, for example burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.

As a result, the U.N.-backed Kyoto Protocol has set rich countries emissions limits by 2012, but allows them to meet these by funding cuts in emissions of developing nations.

This novel trade, called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), has generated some $5 billion in the past 20 months or so, but has mostly gone to China, Brazil and India instead.

"It's a two-year plan targeted at Africa, it's an emergency response group for people who want to set up CDM or adaptation projects," the source said.

"It's providing a response to criticism that Africa is not getting a big enough slice of CDM."

Several U.N. agencies will take part, including the U.N. Environment Programme, the U.N. Development Programme and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, as well as the World Bank's International Finance Corporation.

"It's U.N. agencies putting aside long-standing rivalries to work together to tackle climate change," the source said.

Source: Reuters

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