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GCF should be fast launched to meet Africa's climate change adaptation needs, AfDB

The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Climate Change boss said Monday that the Green Climate Fund should be launched in the Durban climate conference to meet vulnerable Africa's climate change adaptation needs.

Africa needs to find ways of mobilizing domestic resources to deal with climate change, said AfDB Climate Change director Al- Hamdou Dorsouma in an exclusive interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the UN climate change meeting.

"Africa's priority on climate change is adaptation. Now the issue is to get access to finance to really to make sure that adaptation plans are really implemented," Dorsouma said.

According to Dorsouma, in terms of finance for now the hope is that the finance is going to come from developed countries. Rich nations made commitments at previous Conference of Parties (COP) in Copenhagen in 2009 and in Cancun in 2010 that they will provide 30 billion U.S. dollars from 2010 to 2012 and 100 billion dollars per year up to 2020.

"But so far there is no real progress on the mobilization of the funding so now if we need implement the adaptation plans and programs we have to also make progress that how developed countries are meeting under financing issues," Dorsouma told Xinhua, calling continent politicians to put commitment in addressing climate change.

"Africa has to strategize its climate change agenda," said Dorsouma. "Africa needs to think how to mobilize domestic resources to address the issue because now people are suffering and if we have to wait for developed countries to come and help it is going to take time,' he said, "So I think that first amount of funding can come from Africa countries themselves," Dorsouma said.

However he said there is effort that needs to be done by developed countries to their commitments because they made "those commitments and they have to meet them."

"We now need action and action has to come from both sides, from African countries themselves and the support of the international community," he said.

According to AfDB, 95 percent of the climate finance now is supporting mitigation. Only 5 percent support adaptation. Almost 90 percent of the climate finance money is coming from private sector to support mitigation.

Dorsouma said Africa does not have any mitigation action to take because it only produces 3.8 percent of the global green house gases emissions.

"So the money from private sector is going to support mitigation and you know that mitigation is not a priority in Africa so far. We need to take action on adaptation and if the money comes from private sector we need to ensure that this money also support adaptation not only mitigation," Dorsouma said.

AfDB is Africa's premier development finance institution which is dedicated to combating poverty across the continent. It was established in 1964 but began operations in 1967.

At COP 17 developed countries are asking emerging economies to take some binding commitment to reduce the green house gas emissions.

"Those historical emission come from developed not developing countries so this is where the progress is very slow but we hope that by the end of the conference negotiators will be able to find some kind of agreement to add-up on the legal options to continue with the Kyoto Protocol in second commitment period or to find a transitional arrangement for that before agree on the next COP on global and biding agreement climate change regime," said Dorsouma.

Author:Ntandoyenkosi Ncube
Source:Xinhua
Date:Dec 06,2011