Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

28 June 2014

Tanzania: Climate Change Effects Worry Kikwete

Malabo — PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has called for serious global action to combat effects of climate change.

He has also urged fellow African leaders to show genuine efforts in addressing such challenges, otherwise Africa could be posed for devastating eventualities.

Chairing a special meeting between African leaders and the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki Moon here, President Kikwete expressed concern on the degree of attention dedicated to the climate change discussion.

"It is shocking to realise that nearly all African leaders are here, attending this important session but to everybody's surprise only the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr Hailemariam Desalegn and I are present at this important discussion.

Go and tell your presidents that this is not proper as effects of climate change are likely to strike to the detriment of the whole continent," President Kikwete told ministers who were attending the meeting.

Mr Kikwete who is the Chairman to the Committee for Heads of Africa on Climate Change (COHASSC) was briefing Mr Moon on the activities of the committee. During an important session of the committee on Wednesday, at least not more than five presidents attended the meeting. The list included Uganda's President, Mr Yoweri Museveni, while some other countries decided to send ministers to represent them.

Mr Moon supported President Kikwete for the remarks on the need for collective responsibility to mitigate effects of climate change. He likened climate change to a passenger train carrying the global community, whereby each traveller has to contribute for a smooth ride.

The UN Chief was accompanied by his special envoy dealing with global climate change challenges, former president of Ghana, Mr John Kofuor, requesting all African leaders to attend another climate summit scheduled for September, this year.

According to Mr Moon, the summit was meant to exchange ideas, share experience and remind each other of the noble duty by every single nation, ahead of the international summit focusing on ratification by all nations of the Kyoto protocol to lessen effects of climate change.

He challenged African leaders to stand together and make a common voice in pushing for adherence by all nations to actions which would alleviate effects of climate change.

"The challenge appeals for concerted efforts to involve both private and public sectors in Agriculture, Energy, Minerals, among others, for adequate improvement of environment," Mr Moon explained.

Mr Kikwete referred to the technical report on increase of global temperatures and the subsequent desertification especially in Africa where life is put under threat. It is estimated that by 2030 the situation would be critical, unless deliberate measures are taken to redress the situation.

However, Mr Kikwete reiterated his commitment for continued efforts to work closely with African leaders through African Union (AU) to push for ratification of the protocol by developed nations.

Official reports indicate that the major contributors to global warming by 80 per cent are the developed countries, especially from industrial operations but the effects are equally felt in Africa.

The chairperson of the African Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma called for African leaders to attend the September meeting with a common agenda, the appeal that received overwhelming support from the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr Hailemariam.

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