Africa to seek declaration of global climate emergency at UN summit

(Reuters News, 22 Sep 2019) Many African nations are feeling the sting of climate change impacts but as they struggle to respond, they are pushing for top-level recognition of their plight.

African countries plan to call on the United Nations to declare a global climate emergency, among a set of demands to be presented at a climate summit in New York on Monday organised by the U.N. chief.

Backed by African climate change negotiators, the statement is also expected to say that countries' climate action plans should be made legally binding, to ensure the 2015 Paris Agreement goals to limit global warming are met.

African governments will also likely request more international funding to implement their plans to brake heat-trapping emissions and help their people adapt to more extreme weather and rising seas.

The president of Gabon, the current chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change, is scheduled to deliver the demands, drawn up at an August meeting in Ethiopia to prepare Africa's position for the U.N. summit.

"Declaring a climate emergency enables the adoption of certain actions at a global level," which could include a boost in financial support for African states, said James Murombedzi, head of the African Climate Policy Centre, a joint African Union and U.N. initiative which convened the Addis Ababa meeting.

Specifically, African governments are seeking ways to raise money to improve monitoring and forecasting of weather and seasonal climate trends, as worsening floods, storms and drought ruin homes, livelihoods and food crops across the continent.

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Reuters News, 22 Sep 2019: Africa to seek declaration of global climate emergency at UN summit