Democratic Republic of Congo Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Environment Minister Eve Bazaïba underlined that the African continent was responsible for only 4% of world emissions of greenhouse gases.
The officials made those remarks at a preliminary meeting ahead of the COP27 Climate Summit kicked off in Kinshasa.
Those hosting officials also pointed out that Africa absorbs more than it emits, while Bazaïba called on countries to respect their financial commitments and support plans to help offset climate damage by 2024.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged dignitaries from over 50 countries that the international community needs to reach a quantum level compromise on the matter. The informal gathering in Kinshasa is preparing the ground for the annual climate change (COP27) conference to be staged from November 6 to 18 in the Egyptian city of Sharm el Sheikh. Deputy UN Secretary-General Amina Mohammed warned that all indicators on climate are heading in the wrong direction.
Unless a global effort is made ... no one will escape, Bazaiba said Monday. We all breathe the same air.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed the need for funding, in accordance with a promise stemming from COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, to provide developing countries with US$ 100 billion yearly to address climate change.
Bazaiba insisted these disbursements should no longer be classified as development aid but rather as an investment in humanity's future.
Addressing the informal summit via video link from the UN's main buildings in New York City, Guterres insisted on a quantum level compromise between wealthy countries responsible for much of humanity's carbon emissions and poorer countries that often feel climate change's effects most profoundly. The Portugal-born diplomat also underscored recent natural disasters entailed a life-or-death struggle for our own safety today and our survival tomorrow.
A third of Pakistan flooded. Europe's hottest summer in 500 years. The Philippines hammered. The whole of Cuba in a black-out. And here, in the United States, Hurricane Ian has delivered a brutal reminder that no country and no economy is immune from the climate crisis, Guterres said.
“The finance currently available is a pittance concerning the magnitude of disasters vulnerable nations and people are facing and will face,” Amina Mohammed also said at the start of the three-day event.
Britain's King Charles III, a long-time environmental advocate who last year played a leading role at Glasgow's COP 26 while he was not yet a monarch, has announced he will not attend COP 27 on Prime Minister Liz Truss' advice.
My life will, of course, change as I take up my new responsibilities,'' King Charles said in a broadcast message after his mother's death. It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.”