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Tackling climate change

Dec 12, 2011, 12:26 PM

There appears to be renewed hope in the strides to tackle climate change, especially in Africa after it was announced in Durban, South Africa, that climate negotiators agreed a pact on Sunday that would for the first time force all the biggest polluters to take action on greenhouse gas emissions.

Negotiators agreed on the format of a fund to help poor countries tackle climate change, and mapped out a path to a legally binding agreement on emissions reduction.

Reports said the agreement on the package, reached in the early hours of Sunday, avoided a collapse of the talks and spared the blushes of host South Africa, whose stewardship of the two weeks of often fractious negotiations came under fire from both rich and poor nations.

There is no denying the fact that climate change has been posing serious challenges to the African continent, and even this country’s development efforts.

There have been conventions, coalitions, and conferences held in its name. Hundreds of politicians have discussed, debated and even come to agree on possible solutions armed with which we might stand and face its impending challenges.

Thousands of scientists have released studies, statements, and reports documenting its harmful and possibly even fatal consequences for all of the world’s biodiversity. 

The scientific evidence that climate change is a serious and urgent issue is now compelling. Signs have shown that it warrants strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world, so as to reduce the risk of very damaging and potentially irreversible impacts on ecosystems, societies and economies.

Reports indicate that the threat climate-change, both current and future, poses to African development is widely documented.

 Although the continent contributes only about 3.8% of total greenhouse gas emissions, Africa, according to reports, will bear the brunt of severe impacts from climate change.

Often, African governments have placed climate change at the bottom of their national priorities.

This has to change, if they are to make any progress in dealing with the alarming trends. Climate change adaptation strategies have to be strengthened.

Africa is facing the greatest catastrophe in human history. Climate change represents a nightmare scenario for the future of the people of the continent.

Thus the necessity for African governments to put pressure on the developed countries to support in their fight against climate change.

It is in this light that we welcome the signing of the new deal, and hope that it will not only stop at the signing but will be followed by successful implementation.

“We can’t ignore the threats of climate change.”