The African Group of Negotiators say they still have hope that the climate change talks in Durban will yield positive and concrete results, vowing that they will not allow Africans to be betrayed on their soil by failing to negotiate for a second extension of the Kyoto Protocol.The climate change talks in Durban have entered the 2nd week amid lots of speculation over whether a positive outcome will culminate from the negotiations or a betrayal to the African continent by failing to come up with a binding legal agreement and an extension to the Kyoto Protocol which is set to expire in 2012.
Chairman of the African Group of Negotiators, Mr. Tosi Mpanu Mpanu said it will be a grave offence if the Kyoto Protocol is guillotined on African soil.
He said the current African position is that African countries have reaffirmed their support for the Kyoto and the other issue they want addressed are adaptation funds.
Mpanu Mpanu said more than one billion African people are at risk due to the adverse effects of climate change and for him it was difficult to comprehend that there are nations which are not showing concern over such a grave issue.
He said those countries that have always portrayed an image of being champions in politics, economics and other crucial sectors should show the same leadership skills in climate change issues.
Mpanu Mpanu said Japan was setting a bad precedence by failing to honour the Kyoto Protocol when it was conceived on their soil.
The argument by the African negotiators is that developed nations should show their commitment and responsibility to the Kyoto Protocol as they are the ones who have benefitted from industrialisation while depleting the ozone layer at the same time.
Mpanu Mpanu said they are hoping that probably by 2020 the developed nations would have reduced their emissions by 20% or even by 40%.
African countries are among the most vulnerable nations who are feeling the pinch of the effects of climate change while they made an insignificant contribution towards mitigation measures.
Meanwhile, the second week of the climate change talks in Durban will be characterised by a high level segment where ministers, senior government officials as well as other policy makers will be meeting and discussing the results of the meetings that negotiators were involved in during the first week.