UNFCCC Executive Secretary Calls on Africa to Express its Views on the Copenhagen Deal

Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary 3 September 2008: In an address to the Africa Carbon Forum, currently taking place in Dakar, Senegal, until 5 September 2008, Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary noted that, despite being the hardest hit by climate change, Africa is the continent that has benefited the least from the current international climate change regime, including the Clean Development Mechanism


He explained that Africa only accounts for 27 registered CDM projects in seven countries, and therefore African negotiators are disillusioned in the current negotiations toward a Copenhagen deal. He warned Africa against being fatalistic, because of the opportunity the current round of negotiations represents for the continent, and stressed that real progress is currently being made. He stated that the challenge is finding a global, low-emissions economic development plan that makes climate-friendly economic growth globally viable and benefits developing countries. Underlining the role of the energy sector in global carbon dioxide emissions, de Boer identified the need for greening investment by creating win-win opportunities in low-emissions technologies, such as renewable energies. He said the holding of the Forum illustrates the continent's business potential and outlined the CDM's past success outside Africa. He underscored the potential offered by the CDM and called for increasing the number of CDM projects in Africa. He listed some of the barriers to CDM investments in Africa, underlining that improvements to the Mechanism will be further discussed in the lead up to the Copenhagen meeting in 2009. The Executive Secretary stressed the need for African countries to express their views on what should be part of the Copenhagen deal and urged them to take the opportunity to benefit from the climate process. [UNFCCC press release, 3 September 2008]