The Herald (Harare)

11 November 2013

Zimbabwe: Cop19 Must Deliver Tangible Outcomes

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Zimbabwe is also worried about the uneven regional distribution of the CDM projects and the uncertainty of the market continuity of emissions trading up to 2020.

Africa's share of participation in CDM projects remain disappointingly low. According to UNFCCC statistics in 2012, about 4 200 CDM projects were expected to be registered by year-end with some three billion Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), a unit equal to 1 000kg of carbon dioxide, planned to be issued out.

Of the anticipated global projects last year, China was expected to register 59 percent of CERs, India 12 percent and Nigeria, Africa's biggest participant, 1,2 percent.

The CDM scheme is a carbon-based compensation for projects that result in reduced carbon emissions. The 2012 projects were expected to remove 2,9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Africa at COP19:

At Warsaw, Africa expects to articulate a lot of issues. Some of the major ones are listed below:

Call for ambitious mitigation targets during a second commitment period from 2013 to 2017 of at least 30 percent, and further reduction of emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020, at least 80 to 95 percent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels

Implications of adverse effects of climate change for Africa's security and development should be taken seriously,

Commitment to a science-based approach to limit temperature rise well below 1,5 degrees Celsius and keep Africa safe

Equitable allocation of atmospheric resource (low per capita emissions)

Commitment to outcomes based on the UNFCCC: principles of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and respective capabilities

Provision of sufficient finance and technology transfer

Developed countries - including non-KP Parties - to undertake legally binding commitments comparable and measurable, reportable and verifiable - with regard to mitigation efforts and the provision of financial and technological resources.

Over the years, the continent's expectations from the UN negotiations have broadly remained constant.

However, given the endemic incremental nature of the talks, and more precisely that developed countries have little respect and interest for Africa's genuine concerns, most of these expectations remain unfulfilled or only, partially met.

In most instances, the continent has been forced to bend over to accommodate unrealistic targets from the West, itself, clearly a dishonest negotiating partner.

At COP18 in Doha, Qatar, last year, Africa managed to secure the extension of the Kyoto Protocol for another five years, one of its key pre-conference targets.

But this was only achieved after much debate. The eventual outcome was severely weakened, as industrialised nations resisted entering the second commitment period without binding participation from those in the developing.

On emissions, the EU plus 10 other industrialised countries refused to take on deeper cuts, maintaining their already inadequate cuts at 20 percent below 1990 levels until 2020.

This group also pushed for a new agreement that includes developing countries to be designed and implemented in 2020, further delaying effective action on emissions.

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