ACCRA, Aug 24, 2008 (AFP) - The UN-sponsored climate change talks between rich and poor countries offer few benefits to Africa, which bears the brunt of climate change in the world, officials and African delegates said Sunday.
"Many African negotiators have expressed concern that the current regime delivers few real benefits to the continent," Yvo de Boer, head of the ongoing UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) conference in Accra, told reporters. De Boer spoke at the sidelines of the week-long negotiations on reducing carbon emissions by industrialised countries by up to 40 percent by 2020.
"The total value of projects in Africa financed by the Global Environment Facility in the last 17 years stands at 378 million dollars, while the total value of projects worldwide is more than 2.4 billion dollars, which reflects lack of benefits for the continent," he added. The projects are being implemented under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a private sector-based fund reserved by developed countries to assist developing nations in mitigating the consequences of climate change.
"The way African countries feel is that we need a fairer, more equitable deal that is sensitive to the looming consequences of climate change on Africa," said Victor Fodeke, head of the Nigerian delegation to the conference. "Only about two percent of the entire CDM projects worldwide are in Africa which is unacceptably low in contrast to 45 percent located in China, 16 percent in India and 13 percent in Chile," said Ewah Otu Eleri, head of Nigeria-based International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development. He called for a more flexible mechanism for African countries to access the funds, arguing the current rules were too stringent.