Africa has "enormous stake" in success of climate conference says UN chief

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attends the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, at the UN climate change conference in Paris, France. 6 December 2015. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Africa has an "enormous stake" in the success of the COP21 climate change conference, said the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday.

Speaking at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, taking place in Paris alongside the historic summit, he acknowledged that several "key issues" remained before a deal could be reached by the close of COP21 next weekend.

Matthew Wells reports.

Mr Ban told the ministers from 54 African nations that they were a "powerful bloc" and speaking with one voice in the on-going world climate change negotiations gave them greater influence in the drive towards a deal.

At this half-way point in the COP21 conference he said they were all "on track" towards a "meaningful" agreement, but he acknowledged there several key areas of concern for African countries in particular that would need to be met during final negotiations in the coming days.

"Africa is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change," he said, pointing out that extreme weather, economic and political fragility, meant that Africans would suffer more than most if global warming remained unchecked.

In particular, he pointed to the contentious area of financing to enable impoverished states to meet their national targets on climate change.

Developed countries needed to understand that investment in Africa was a "tool that helps us raise collective ambition," he added.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 54"

 

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