The African Union Commission (AUC), through the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, hosted the Meeting of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) today Wednesday 16 November 2011, at the African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Chaired by H.E Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and the Coordinator of CAHOSCC, the meeting considered the key messages from the Special Session of the African Ministerial Council on Environment (AMCEN), held in Bamako, Mali in September 2011, in respect of Africa’s effective participation at COP17/CMP7.
During the opening session, Mr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission reported that the interest amongst Africans on climate change deliberations as very tense. “To us all climate change is a defining challenge of our times, and it is not surprising that the desire to distil a decisive outcome in Durban is felt palpably every time we address African audiences in Africa and elsewhere in the world”, he said.
Mr. Ping underlined the commitment of the AUC in providing any assistance at the level of CAHOSCC and other echelons of the African negotiating system including the AMCEN and the Group of African Negotiators. “We also continue to coordinate continent-wide climate and environment related programmes”, he added.
He further urged that Durban must deliver a major step forward in international climate change negotiations. For this, “Africa should speak with one voice in articulating its demands”.
“We have a clear principle on the issue of Kyoto protocol, we are eager to engage other actors with the purpose of maintaining, or at the very least, salvaging of the essence of the Kyoto protocol. The means to that objective would be to engage the key actors in Durban in a very flexible manner”, Meles told journalists during the press conference at the end of the CAHOSCC meeting.
He said climate change adaptation has a very significant role for Africa and that the CAHOSCC would in the run up to the Durban conference, to convince some stakeholders who have some reservations on the Copenhagen Climate Change Report to adopt it so as to pave way for progressive discussions and negotiations.
At the CAHOSCC meeting the following countries were attended: Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda.
It is to be recalled that CAHOSCC was established in 2009 by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to spearhead African Common Position on Climate Change and to ensure that Africa speaks with one voice in global climate change negotiations. It began its work with CoP15 in Copenhagen, carried on in Cancun, Mexico (CoP16) and will pursue its work at CoP17 in Durban South Africa.