African Union leader warns of catastrophe if Copenhagen fails

December 7th, 2009 - 11:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, Dec 7 (DPA) African Union leader Jean Ping warned Monday in Vienna that the population on his continent would disappear if there was no progress at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
Africa would speak with one voice at the summit meeting that started Monday, as natural catastrophes like floods and droughts had become a reality in developing countries, the chairperson of the African Union’s secretariat told reporters.

“If nothing happens, we will vanish,” Ping said at the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), which was holding its annual general conference.

UNIDO chief Kandeh Yumkella warned of finding solutions at Copenhagen that would burden poor countries. “We don’t want climate change to cannibalize development,” the director-general said, shortly after being elected for a second four-year term.

Who should pay for developing countries’ measures to adapt to climate change is one of the points of contention at Copenhagen.

The Secretary General of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) said climate change was making itself felt in his region. “It is not somewhere in the future.”

The three officials were set to travel to Copenhagen later in the week.

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