Press Release


Africa Climate Change Talks Enter Decisive Week as Lead Negotiators and High Level Experts Gather to Refine Climate Platform and Position towards Copenhagen


Addis Ababa/Nairobi, 19 October 2009- About 150 African lead negotiators and high level experts on climate change from all African countries gather for their Second Technical Meeting in Addis Ababa to map out the region’s climate platform, barely 44 days before the crucial negotiations in Copenhagen.
The week-long meeting is at the initiative of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and the African Union, (AU), in collaboration with the United Nations; Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Second Technical Meeting of the African high-level expert panel and negotiators on climate change is the last major preparatory meeting in Africa before the fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change scheduled for December 2009 in Copenhagen.

The negotiators and high level experts will update the African common negotiating position; deliberate on the framework of African climate change programmes and its associated frameworks of sub regional climate change programmes; and deepen the understanding of African experts on the issues being negotiated in connection with the international climate change regime beyond 2012.

Africa's expectation of the outcome of Copenhagen is an inclusive, fair and effective outcome that prioritizes both adaptation and mitigation, and recognizes that Africa has an urgent need for support in the implementation of adaptation. The Copenhagen outcome must recognize that solving the climate problem will only be possible if it is undertaken in the context of Africa's need for development.

Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change with limited capacity for adaptation. The region’s major economic sectors are vulnerable to current climate sensitivity, with huge economic impacts, and this vulnerability is exacerbated by existing developmental challenges such as endemic poverty, complex governance and institutional dimensions; limited access to capital, including markets, infrastructure and technology; ecosystem degradation; and multifaceted disasters and conflicts.

Copenhagen offers African countries a vital opportunity to secure the means to address the adverse effects of climate change from stepped up climate change action. It is essential that Africa participates actively and strategically in the negotiations to ensure that its needs, interests and requirements are met. Failure to reach a fair and equitable outcome will have dire consequences for Africa.

To harness the synergies between mitigation and adaptation Africa needs significant international support to address adaptation and mitigation through financing (including public finance); capacity building; and technology development and transfer.
Increased support to Africa under the future climate regime should therefore be based on the priorities determined by Africa: adaptation, capacity building, research, financing and technology development and transfer, including support for South-South transfer of knowledge.

Establishment of a compliance mechanism is necessary to ensure a more effective delivery of commitments made with regard to greenhouse gas reduction, finance, technology and capacity-building.

Note to Editors
The Second meeting of the African high‑level expert panel on climate change, a meeting to prepare for the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, will be opened by Ms. Bulyewa Sonjica, President of AMCEN and Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa, or her representative, on Wednesday, 21 October 2009, at the United Nations Conference Centre, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa.
The outcomes of the current meeting and other activities undertaken in connection with AMCEN work on climate change in Africa will be presented at the second extraordinary meeting of AMCEN on climate change scheduled for the eve of the high-level segment of the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Copenhagen in December 2009.
About the Work of AMCEN on climate change in Africa: This work, known as the “African process for combating climate change” was initiated as a follow-up to the twelfth session of AMCEN, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 2008. The African process for combating climate change aims to support efforts by AMCEN to implement the continent’s process to achieve a common negotiating position on a comprehensive international climate change regime beyond 2012; provide a platform to deliberate and agree on a shared vision and common position for Africa to combat climate change and achieve sustainable development; engage with the international community in finding solutions to the challenges posed by climate change; and develop a comprehensive framework of African climate change programmes and its associated sub regional climate change programmes.
About ECA’s work on climate change in Africa
ECA’s activities on climate change are being undertaken within the framework of the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) Programme and its African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC).
The ClimDev-Africa Programme is a joint initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC), the ECA and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The goal of ClimDev-Africa is to scale up the capacities of key institutions and stakeholders with a view to improving climate-related data and observation, information services, policies, investment processes and risk-management practices in climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water and other natural resources, energy, and health. 
The Programme implementation rests on two key instruments: the ECA-based African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) as its policy arm and the AfDB-based Special Climate Change Funding Mechanism, as its financial arm.

For more information, please contact: Mr. Peter Acquah, AMCEN Secretary, Tel +254 20 7624289; Email: or Isatou Gaye, Chief, Environment and Sustainable Development Section, ECA (; Tel: +251-11-544-3089