DAKAR — African policy makers meet in Ouagadougou Friday to discuss climate change just two months before a critical UN summit where African countries are poised to seek billions in compensation for the effects of global warming.
Experts say Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the regions most affected by global warming. The World Bank estimates that the developing world will suffer about 80 percent of the damage of climate change despite accounting for only around one third of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
At the seventh World Forum on Sustainable Development organised by the government of Burkina Faso together with the United Nations and the African Union several African heads of state will meet key policy makers to discuss the opportunities climate change could offer for sustainable development.
“Luckily AFrica has only a very small part in (global) pollution. The continent emits less than 4 percent of greenhouse gasses,” Burkina’s Environment Minister Salifou Sawadogo, a member of the forum’s organising committee, told AFP.
However, Africa needs “to make it clear to countries that have achieved their economic development to the detriment of the environment that they have to take responsibility and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and help the continent most vulnerable to climate change,” he said.
Africa is already facing the consequences of climate change: a drop in rainfall has led to a historic five year drought across east Africa which aid agencies said could see more than 23 million people face hunger and destitution.