Commonwealth MPs push for climate change financing

By Mark Oloo in Nairobi – Commonwealth countries have launched a fresh petition to industrialised countries to provide resources to developing nations to fund climate change adaptation.

Making the appeal, more than 900 members of parliament from the Commonwealth said developing countries were increasingly vulnerable to global warming.

Speaking at the 56th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, participants said rich countries should cushion poor nations against climate change effects.

Delegates, among them Kenya’s Environment Assistant Minister Margaret Kamar, said poor nations bore the heaviest brunt yet they were less responsible for global carbon emissions.

The Nairobi Commonwealth meeting ends on September 19 and will among other things discuss response to disasters and sustainable development.

The MPs spoke today as analysts cast doubts over prospects for a successful conclusion of the UN-led global talks on climate change scheduled for Cancun, Mexico, in December.

Similar talks suffered in Bonn, Germany, last June after the European Union (EU) said it did not expect the 194 negotiating countries to reach a deal this year.

EU chief climate negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger said the talks were bound to drag, as there was no consensus on the interest on rich nations against demands by developing countries.

“I do not think a new legal agreement is in the cards in Cancun….I believe such negotiations will, in an optimistic scenario, take at least another year,” Mr Runge-Metzger, who is also the European Commission’s director of Climate Policy, said.

The EU has been criticised for backtracking on a plan to unilaterally boost the bloc’s emissions reduction target from 20 per cent to 30 per cent.

The climate talks began in 1992 to coordinate global efforts towards adapting to and mitigating climate change impacts. Top on the agenda was to prevent global average temperature rise and reduction in green house gas emissions.