- East Africa
Zenawi: Ethiopia won’t slow down for their carelessness
PM determined to drive Ethiopian growth despite climate change
Ethiopia will not slowdown its efforts to industrialise for fear of worsening the state of the environment and increasing carbon pollution, but steps are already underway to shift to a green campaign.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said climate change fears would not stop his government from authorising the use of locally available raw materials and coal to fire its local cement factories for fear of increasing climate change risks.
"We do not have to do what the industrialised countries did to the environment as they industrialised. We do have coal and we are beginning to use it in our cement factories but there would have to be balances. We can be carbon neutral," he said
Ethiopian academicians, environmentalists, non-governmental organisations and researchers gathered in Addis Ababa, Thursday, to discuss the effects of climate change in Ethiopia and predict the kind of institutional mechanisms to fight it.
Opened the first national climate change conference in Ethiopia, meant to create awareness on the climate perils that Ethiopia faces, Zenawi said the conference was meant to chart a new course on how different organisations could work together to prevent the adverse effects of climate change.
He said "It has now been scientifically proved that our climate is changing in a fundamental way because of global warming. The issue now is not whether we can stop global warming or not, because we can’t.
"The hope is that we will do enough to avoid global warming from crossing the tipping point. Our contribution to global warming is negligible. The impact it has on us is far from negligible."
He said his country, like most African states, were left to deal with the adverse effects of climate change, which created an increment in tropical diseases suc has malaria and the sleeping sickness.
Ethiopia is demanding that the rich countries, whose industrialisation has created the effects of climate change, immediately take responsibility for their action. He said the rich states have polluted African land and must now pay for the costs.