16 September 2012

Africa: Tanzania President Kikwete Touts Carbon Emission Reduction

Arusha — PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has officially closed the 14th session of African Ministerial Conference on the Environment here on Friday evening with a call to cut-down on global carbon emissions.

"Effects of global warming can be seen even here in Tanzania where diseases like Malaria are now being experienced in highland regions where mosquitoes were never heard of before," observed President Kikwete, explaining that the raise in temperatures in formerly cold areas should raise warnings of imminent worldwide catastrophes.

He explained that, even when other developed nations seem to be the major culprits of global carbon emissions, African countries suffer the same outcomes since the effects of global warming are spread equally across the world.

The 14th session was meant to address Africa's efforts in achieving a common negotiation position on a legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal framework under the UN climate change Convention by 2015 to be held in Doha, Qatar.

When it comes to carbon emissions the five East African Community (ECA) member states of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda together exude less than 0.1 per cent of the total global carbon dioxide emission.

Official figures indicate that the more industrialized Kenya is leading the pack by emitting an annual average of 11.2 million metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide but even that accounts for just 0.04 per cent of the world's green-house fumes production.

Tanzania is second in East Africa with an annual 10.1 million metric tons of the green-house gases emissions, equivalent to 0.02 per cent of the total carbon dioxide productions. Uganda produces 0.01 per cent while both Rwanda and Burundi emit less than that.

According to the United Nations' Statistic Database, the entire African continent churns out just 3.6 per cent of the total global green-house gases production per year.

The world currently sends into the atmosphere over 290 billion metric tons of Carbon gases with China (at 6.5 billion metric tons) leading by 22.3 per cent followed by the United States which puffs out 5.8 billion metric tons (20 per cent) of the green-house gases.

Earlier, the Director and African Regional Representative for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mr Mounkalia Goumandakoye, said the 14th session of AMCEN of Arusha came soon after the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development-UNCSD (Rio+20) and will therefore be of great significance in providing guidance with respect to the implementation of the key outcomes of Rio+20.

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