The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Rich Nations Muzzle Out African Nations

Durban — NEGOTIATIONS by developing countries to get binding funding and greenhouse gas emission reduction guarantees under the Kyoto Protocol fizzled from a plenary affair to subtle country to country negotiations, as eking a lasting agreement remained a distant mirage.

Rich nations, some of which had earlier on threatened to pull out of the Kyoto Agreement negotiations, successfully used their financial and political muscle to dismantle open negotiations as the United Nations Climate Change Conference entered day four on Thursday. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialised countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

hese reductions amount to an average of five percent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012 but developed nations feel that it slows their industrialisation.

In an interview, head of the Zimbabwean delegation and Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Management overt to the covert.

"As it stands we have more or less put aside plenary negotiations and gone for consultations, one on one country negotiations and we hope to finally come up with something.

"As the African group we have taken the position that the Kyoto Agreement cannot die on the African soil.

"We are already affected by climate change and we are seeking funding guarantees for projects and legally binding agreements to reduce greenhouse emissions.

"As developing countries we are not legally bound, we are only asking for a greenhouse funding to offset the intermittent droughts, shifting farming seasons and high temperatures.

"We need funding to help us adapt because to us it means less rains, it means less food and it means less water," said Mrs Nhekairo.

At the end, it is envisaged that the developing countries could end up with a win-win situation with the developing world in the form of Kyoto Protocol stage 2 or something else.

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