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Climate Change Conference: African MPs Resolve To Speak With One Voice 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

African MPs have resolved to speak with one voice in contributing to the UN framework agreement to be signed during the climate change conference that will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark from December 7 to 18. This is one of the many resolutions that the MPs and other stakeholders took during the Pan-African Parliamentary Conference on Climate Change that ended in Yaounde over the weekend.

The parliamentarians were unanimous that Africa that is responsible for less than 4 percent of greenhouse gas emission, that is the main cause of climate change, suffers most.
The conference participants also articulated the irony that though Africa makes minute contribution to cause climate change, it is the greatest victim of the phenomenon. Thus, the majority of the over 300, 000 people that climate change kills every year are Africans. The plea of the MPs in Copenhagen would be for the rest of the world to give the due attention to Africa in issues of climate change.

While opening the conference on June 25, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, called on MPs to sensitise their constituents on the sustainable use of biodiversity and environmental protection. He said they should ensure better environmental governance that leads to sustainable use of natural resources. He warned that if climate change is not checked, over 600 million will be vulnerable to malnutrition by 2080. This is so because climate change is responsible for the current decline in food production in many areas.

The Coordinator of the Pan-African Parliamentary Conference on Climate Change, Hon. Cyprian Awudu, said if climate change is not neutralised, over one million people will die every year by 2030 from the effects of the phenomenon. While enumerating the unsound consequences of climate change, Hon Mbaya cited famine, sickness, droughts, environmental degradation, floods, cyclones and high sea levels.

Given that Africa is hardest hit by the phenomenon, Mbaya called on western governments to give special and preferential treatment to the continent to enable it face the enormous challenges. He called on the government of the developed world to cut their emissions and to ensure adequate finances for climate change adaptation and low carbon development in Africa.
Meanwhile, the British High Commissioner to Cameroon, Syd Madicott handed over to the House Speaker, copies of the bilingual simplified communication guide on climate change for MPs during the occasion.

The Head of the United Nations Information Office in Central Africa, Mrs. Anne Nsang Nkwain, presented the UN Campaign Deal for Climate Change. The campaign encourages governments to seal the deal on fair, balanced and effective climate agreement when they meet in Copenhagen in December. She said the UN Scribe is seeking to involve leaders from government, business and communities in every corner of the world along with students and youth in encouraging leaders to seal a fair balanced and effective climate change agreement.

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