Ethiopia: Meles Zenawi expresses disappointment over climate talks

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Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, who led the African delegation to the United Nations Copenhagen Climate Summit, has indicated that the deal he appended his signature to is well within the confines of what African leaders outlined ahead of the negotiations.

In a press conference given to local journalists on last week, Meles said that “all nations did not get what they had best hoped for, with some not even achieving” the strictest “minimum,” thus the summit had been a disappointment. He admitted to the fact that the absence of a legally binding treaty for carbon emissions was the biggest disappointment .

Although the African Union had originally decided to negotiate for some 70 billion dollars to mitigate the climate change impact on the continent, starting from year 2020, it showed its willingness to accept between 18 and 23 billion dollars.

For Meles, Africans had achieved what he termed as a compromise “between these two positions and was therefore not hurt by the deal”.

However, according to the Ethiopian PM, Africa’s share in the ten billion dollars to be allotted beginning next year is not clear.

A key part of the financial deal, which is expected to promote the creation of a common fund for both donor and recipient countries as well as an equal say for both parties in what concerns decisions affecting the environment, was partially met.

Though Meles does not see the latest summit as a total failure, environment advocates have continuously expressed otherwise, with some describing the Ethiopian premier’s stance as wishy-washy.

Mr. Zenawi insists that the result is only a likely outcome of such an event.

The aftermath of the summit has seen many countries pointing fingers at each other for the disastrous outcome: Brazil has blamed the United States while Sweden, current president of the European Union, has described the summit a “disaster” and indicated that both China and the United States, the world’s major polluters, as being responsible for the disappointing result.

President Barack Obama, who had boldly campaigned for countries to act “responsibly” on climate change, was a huge disappointment for many. Analysts have said that despite Obama’s pro-environmentalist position, very little could be done without an essential approval from the US Senate, which is still struggling to endorse bills for renewable energy sources that could leave their individual fossil fuel dependent state economies badly affected.

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