Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 August 2008

Ghana / Accra UN Climate Change Talks Kick off With Warning That “Clock Is Ticking Down” to New International Climate Change Deal in Copenhagen


Ghana / Accra UN Climate Change Talks Kick off With Warning That “Clock Is Ticking Down” to New International Climate Change Deal in Copenhagen


ACCRA, Ghana, August 22, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The latest round of UN-sponsored global climate change negotiations

got underway Thursday in Accra, Ghana. More than 1600 participants, including government

delegates from 160 countries and representatives from business and industry, environmental

organizations and research institutions are attending the one-week meeting of the United Nations

Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The “UN Climate Change Talks – Accra, 2008” constitute the third major UNFCCC

negotiating session this year to get to an agreement on strengthened long-term cooperative

action on climate change. The deal is to be clinched in December 2009 in Copenhagen.

The Accra talks were opened by the President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, who

pointed to the fact that the northern part of his country in particular has been witnessing both

serious drought and flooding in recent times. In Ghana, rainfall has decreased by 20% over the

past 30 years, whilst up to 1,000km2 of land may be lost in the Volta Delta due to sea-level rise

and inundation should greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current pace. “There is a

real need for strengthening the capacity of countries, particularly in Africa, in coping with such

climate shocks,” the President said. “I would therefore like to call for an international deal or

“compact”, in which developing countries commit to plan for climate resilient development. In

return the international community should commit to provide adequate, predictable, long-term

funding and support in terms of technology transfer and capacity building,” he added.

The Ghanaian President warned that time was running out to negotiate the crucial

international climate change deal that would not only drastically reduce greenhouse gas

emissions, but generate the “billions of dollars” poor countries needed to adapt to the inevitable

effects of climate change. “The clock is ticking,” he said. “We need to be pragmatic and move

beyond rhetoric to make progress as we move towards Copenhagen”.

In Accra, talks on further commitments for Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will continue. The

objective of these negotiations is to clarify the tools and rules available to industrialized countries

to reach emission reduction targets beyond 2012, when the first phase of the Protocol expires,

along with identifying options to enhance their effectiveness and contribution to sustainable

development. This part of the negotiations must be concluded before the group can move on to

the issue of determining emission reduction ranges for developed countries at its next meeting in





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