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World Economic Forum for Africa Calls for United African Stance on Climate Change

6 May 2011: African Leaders from South Africa, Gabon and Kenya, who gathered at the World Economic Forum for Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, have pledged to take a united stance at the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Durban, South Africa, in December 2011, with a view to achieving a legally binding agreement on climate change that will succeed the Kyoto Protocol. The first commitment period under the Protocol ends in 2012.

The 21st session of the World Economic Forum on Africa was held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 4-6 May 2011. Attended by more than 900 participants from 60 countries, the meeting offered an opportunity for representatives from business, government and civil society to explore opportunities and risks facing the continent under the three thematic pillars: shaping Africa's role in the new reality; fostering Africa's new champions of growth; and building partnerships for inclusive development.

Climate change and related issues were addressed at several of the Forum's more than 30 sessions. Participants at a session on green growth noted that Africa will need a significant proportion of the global climate change fund to meet climate change targets, including leveraging private money. A session on Africa's new energy architecture concluded that Africa must take the renewable sources route, though fossil fuel generation will remain dominant for some years. Session participants noted that, while many countries could become exporters of renewable electricity, a balanced approach is needed, energy security concerns must be addressed and private sector involvement must be secured through tax incentives and long-term buying commitments. African leaders also agreed that governments must work with both business and civil society in order to succeed in tackling climate change. [WEF on Africa Website] [WEF Press Release Climate Change]