Presents Dr. Tewoldeberhan Gebregziabher a medal from the government of France
Pascal Canfin, Minister Delegate of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for Development, visited Ethiopia this week as part of his continental trip to hold talks with African leaders on the issue of climate change.
During his visit, Canfin met with Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom regarding the 2013 Africa-France Summit and the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change, both set to be held in Paris, France.
“Africa is a continent that is least responsible for climate change but the first to be affected by it. It is an unfair situation for the continent,” Canfin said in a press briefing held at the French Embassy. He also stated that Ethiopia is a country which is vital as it has already initiated and is pushing green economy. “The late PM, as well as the current Prime Minister, have been and are committed in addressing climate problems,” he said
Canfin also discussed recent developments in Egypt and Mali with Dr. Tedros, on the success of the Brussels Conference on Mali, co-organized by France and the European Union (EU). He expressed his view that the mobilization of 3.2 billion euros would go a long way towards supporting developments in the country.
During a reception held at the French Ambassador’s residence on Monday, Canfin presented Dr. Tewoldeberhan Gebregziabher, Minister of Environment Protection and Forestry, with a medal from the government of France in acknowledgment for his work in environment protection.
Canfin also visited some project sites that are related to environmental protection, such as the Koshe site, that is to be relocated.
Another one of his visits included a community project around the Wechecha Mountain where communities have become successful in developing an alternative livelihood that does not adversely affect the environment. Communities have been engaged in bee farming as opposed to cutting trees for building fires. “These kinds of small scale projects are vital in addressing climate change. Engaging communities, teaching them about conserving the environment as well as putting them in charge, has a big effect on sustainable environment protection,” he said.
Pascal Canfin will similarly be visiting other African countries to hold talks with other leaders on the issue. At the 2009 Copenhagen negotiations, developed countries committed to pay USD 100 billion per year by 2020 into the Green Climate Fund to help developing countries implement adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change. They also pledged to deliver USD 30 billion as “fast start finance” by 2012.
Disappointingly, a report by the African Climate Policy Centre of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) showed that of the USD 30 billion promised in 2009, only 45 percent has been “committed”, 33 percent “allocated” and about 7 percent actually “disbursed.”
At the Doha conference, Germany, the UK, France, Denmark, Sweden and the EU Commission announced financial pledges totaling approximately USD 6 billion for the period upto 2015.