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Raila seeks global unity in curbing climate change

By | Nov 12th 2009 | 2 min read
By | November 12th 2009

By Peter Opiyo

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has asked developing nations and their industrialised counterparts to end blame games over the effects of climate change.

The PM intimated that as the world heads for Copenhagen climate change meeting next month, focus should be on getting concrete solutions on effects of adverse climatic patterns.

"Effects of climate change are real and concerted efforts of the international community are needed. Walking out of meetings are not options," said Raila.

Differences have emerged between the rich nations and developing countries over whether the meeting should build on the 1997 Kyoto Protocol or a new deal should be crafted. The US did not sign the 1997 deal in Japan and has held the view that she cannot play by it.

Gas emissions

The deal called on 37 industrialised nations to cut their levels of greenhouse gas emissions by five per cent over a five-year period (2008-2012). Developing countries want the Copenhagen meeting to develop an agreement from it.

The differences played out in Bangkok, Thailand in September and culminated to a boycott by African delegates in Barcelona, Spain early this month.

African countries boycotted the Barcelona meeting for a day, in what they said was lack of commitment by industrialised nations.

But speaking at a climate change meeting in Nairobi, Raila said the world must unite in coming up with a solution.

United Nations Environmental Programme (Unep) Deputy Executive Director Angela Cropper said Unep would help Kenya adapt to the effects of climate change, noting that environmental degradation had reached serious levels.

Ms Cropper said Africa’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions was negligible, yet it suffers immensely from it. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden said Kenya had a role to play in addressing climate change given Unep headquarters sits in Nairobi.

Swedish Ambassador Ann Dismorr said the European Union (EU) has put climate change top on its agenda noting that the 27-member state had implemented legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

"The EU is, however, committed to reduce its emissions by 30 per cent provided other developed countries take adequate action," she added.

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