Abuja, Nigeria - Nigeria's President Umaru Yar'Adua has called for an
immediate reduction in greenhouse gases to avert global climate
"Rich countries must cut emissions drastically," President Yar'Adua said while performing the Africa Regional launch of the UNDP's Human Development Report (HDR) 2007/2008 – Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world - in the capital city of Abuja Tuesday.
He expressed his pleasure over the choice of Nigeria as the host of the Africa Regional launch of the HDR which, in his view, will necessitate the position of Nigeria as the Vanguard of Climate Change in Africa.
The President remarked that the theme of this year's report "Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world", was very topical particularly to Africa, in many respects.
He said while the countries contributing substantially to global emission of greenhouse gases were least affected by the negative impact of the climatic shocks, countries most vulnerable to climate change minimally contribute to climate change.
The Nigerian leader said such countries were also least able to protect themselves from the effects of such emissions – a clear indication that developing countries were paying high price for the actions of advanced nations.
He called on world leaders to see climatic change as an urgent matter which, if not addressed, will derail Africa's progress towards the MDGs by 2015.
"While the report is advocating a reduction by 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 from advanced countries, I think the 30% must be reached before 2015 if they really want Africa to reach the MDGs", he said.
President Yar'Adua commended the United Nations for providing strong leadership by including climate change on its priority agenda.
On the national side, he said his government would not tolerate gas flaring in the Niger Delta beyond 2008, and enjoined his colleagues in other African countries to face the challenge of climate change as a matter of priority by acting "NOW".
On his part, Gilbert Houngbo, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Director for Africa, UNDP, gave highlights of the report, which brings to the fore the alarming fact that wealthy countries' carbon footprint threatens to stamp out progress in Africa if effective mitigation efforts are not put in place.
The implications for sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly 550 million people reside, and for other developing regions of the world, will be a reversal in advances in the areas of health, education and poverty-reduction.
"For Africa, the double mitigation challenge is the need for energy security and energy access by finding ways to attract enough direct investment to meet the growing energy demand and to drive investments towards lower carbon technologies," Houngbo said.
The launch attracted state governors, top government officials at national and state levels, as well as parliamentarians, the international community, academia, media and civil society organizations.
As part of its yearly contribution to global development, the UNDP commissions an independent Human Development Report (HDR), which sets the stage for debates on some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity.
This year's report dealing with the challenges of climate change was launched globally in Brasilia, Brazil, 27 November.
Traditionally, one country is selected in each continent to host the regional launch of the report on the same day as it is being launched globally.
The UNDP HDR 2007/2008 builds on the recently-released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Synthesis Report to set out a pathway for climate change negotiations in Bali, Indonesia, and stresses that a narrow 10-year window of opportunity remains to put it into practice.
The report noted that if each poor person on the planet had the same energy-rich lifestyle as an American or Canadian, nine planets would be needed to safely cope with the pollution.
In fact, the US state of Texas, with 23million people, emits more carbon dioxide than all of the 720 million residents of sub-Saharan Africa put together, says the report.
It concludes that "one of the hardest lessons taught by climate change is that the economic model which drives growth and the profligate consumption in rich nations that goes with it, is ecologically unsustainable".
But the authors argue, "with the right reforms, it is not too late to cut greenhouse gas emissions to sustainable levels without sacrificing economic growth: that rising prosperity and climate security are not conflicting objectives".
Retourner à la liste <<<<<