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26.11.2007 General News

Kufuor on climate change

Kufuor on climate change

The President, Mr J. A. Kufuor, drummed home the devastating impact of climate change in the world at the closing session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala Sunday and said the situation required a sense of urgency to address it more resolutely.

Delivering a statement on behalf of Africa at the closing ceremony, President Kufuor also asked the developed member countries of the commonwealth to assist weaker countries, particularly the small Island states, in their frantic effort survive and develop.

The President who is also the African Union (AU) Chairman said the impact of climate change manifested itself in diverse ways in many areas and asked for the adoption of the necessary strategies to assuage the trend.

Sixteen Presidents and 20 Prime Ministers, as well as 20 delegated representatives, attended the three dlay meeting, which was on the theme, "Transforming Commonwealth society to achieve political, economic and human development".

The" Commonwealth leaders issued a declaration on the second lay of their three-day event on how o tackle climate change, ahead of he United Nations Summit on the climate in Bali, Indonesia, but the statement fell short of any consensus on setting targets to cut gas emissions which are regarded as a major cause of climate change.

The Bali meeting is intended to lay the groundwork for an agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. The Kyoto Protocol set emission targets for developed countries but it exempted developing ones.

The Commonwealth leaders, however, resolved to work closely to promote policies to combat climate change in their countries and across the Commonwealth.

They also reaffirmed their commitment to the 1989 Langkswi Declaration on the Environment and conceded that climate change was a threat to the very survival of Commonwealth countries, par¬ticularly small island states.

This year, Ghana, has experienced two harsh contrasting climate situations which precipitated a near drought and abundant rainfall. The near drought left in its trail an energy crisis, while the abundant rainfall caused floods, leading to the destruc¬tion of lives and property.

President Kufuor said the three day meeting was one of the most successful CHOGMs organised, adding that the event had emphasised the strength of the association.

He said the Commonwealth Secretariat had lived up to the high standards of efficiency and commitment and commended the outgoing Secretary-General, Mr Don McKinnon, for steering the association closer to the realisation of its ideals.