Kenya MP says climate deal unlikely
Posted Tuesday, December 8 2009 at 16:04
- Musikari Kombo says negotiators have little time left to iron out the thorny issues that were hampering the clinching of the deal.
The Copenhagen summit is unlikely to produce a legally binding agreement on tackling climate change, a Kenyan MP said Tuesday.
Nominated MP Musikari Kombo, a member of the Pan African Parliamentary Network for Climate Change, however, said it was only possible for the UN talks to conclude next week with a political agreement on the way forward.
“I don’t think the technical people (negotiators) are ready. The only feasible thing that will come out of the conference is a political agreement. The rest can be done at the next Conference of Parties to be held at Mexico,” he told the Nation in an interview.
The political agreement would set the platform that would facilitate an all embracing legal agreement setting up numbers, targets and financial obligation for parties.
The MP raised the doubts saying negotiators had little time left to iron out the thorny issues that were hampering the clinching of the deal likely to supplant the Kyoto protocol in 2012.
The protocol, which came into force in 2005 and ratified by 148 parties, places a heavy burden on industrialised countries.
It sets targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, now accepted as the main cause of global warming.
Mr Kombo, who arrived at the Danish Capital Tuesday, was flanked by MPs: David Koech, Wilbur Otichilo and Erastus Mureithi, all of whom are members of the Pan African Parliamentary Network for Climate Change.
They were expected to be joined by Prof Margaret Kamar, the network’s Vice President.
Mr Kombo, however, said they will not relent their quest to have African negotiators speak with one voice at the summit.
"We are actually here to lobby and support our negotiators from the continent to speak with one voice. It is by doing so that we expect our pleas to be heard,” said the MP at the Bella Centre, the venue of the summit being attended by more than 15,000 participants from 192 countries.
"In the past, we have been negotiating separately…our voices were in the process drowned and nobody was taking us seriously. This time, things are very different. We shall ensure that we speak with one voice and that the issues we are demanding must be addressed.”
During Monday’s opening ceremony, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen announced that at least 110 heads of state will next week be attending the conference, perhaps setting the stage for the sealing of the political deal.
Reports indicate that President Kibaki is likely to attend next week’s high level meeting that is expected to thrash out the elements of a global deal on how to collectively tackle what is arguably the greatest threat the world has ever known – global warming.
The presidents and heads of governments are expected to endorse whatever decision their diplomats and ministers have agreed upon. Prime Minister Raila Odinga has also confirmed participation.
During a climate change summit held in Nairobi in October this year, the parliamentarians drew up a list of demands they wanted hammered out during the climate change talks.
According to their proposals, the legislators want rich countries to be compelled to provide adequate financial assistance to developing states to enable them access climate-friendly technologies that would assist them combat this problem.
And as such, they want the countries to set aside at least 1.5 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP) per year to support Africa cope with the climate-related shocks.
According to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change will threaten economic growth and long-term prosperity, as well as survival of the most vulnerable populations, most of who live in developing countries.
IPCC projects that if emissions continue to rise at their current pace and are allowed to double from pre-industrial levels, the world will face an average temperature rise of 3°C this century.