COMESA engages in climate debate

comesaBULAWAYO - The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has described the effects of climate change as a great challenge wreaking havoc on the poor.

COMESA Secretary General, Sindiso Ngwenya, made these remarks at the Pan African Parliamentary Summit on Climate Change held in Nairobi, Kenya. There is need to forge a consensus between developed and developing countries and agree on a new global deal, said Ngwenya.

He pointed out that Africa could contribute to the green revolution unleashed by a low carbon economy, provided that developed countries contributed to funding for both adaptation and mitigation. The COMESA chief said the continent lacked resources, capacity and technology for adaptation and mitigation hence the insistence that these requirements be in the global agreement.

On the contribution of COMESA to the common Africa position for the Copenhagen Conference, Ngwenya said the bloc had launched African Bio-Carbon Initiative and this was the first time in international negotiations that a regional organization from developing countries had submitted a comprehensive concrete proposal on climate change. Hitherto Africa and developing countries in general have been marginal players as evidenced by the negotiations that resulted in the current Kyoto Protocol, he said.

The African Bio Carbon Initiative is informed by the realities of African economies which depend on agriculture and forestry. He said it was imperative that agriculture was included in the new regime for Africa to get a new deal and incentives to mitigate climate change.

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