kyoto protocol.jpgOver 200 civil society organisations are calling for a fair climate fund and a fair regional distribution of clean Development Mechanism Projects documents to be
established this week for climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico.

 

As Ministers of Environment arrive to face the vital political challenges around the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, civil society has called for sufficient political time and energy to be spared to ensure substantive outcomes on issue that really matter to those suffering from climate change’s savage impacts.

 

The call by civil society makes it clear that the poor people of the world are losing out twice – they are not only being hardest hit by a crisis they did least to cause, but are also not being served by climate related funds that should be helping them.

 

Most existing funds have benefited just a handful of developing countries, privileging mitigation over adaptation and offering little scope for the meaningful participation of affected communities especially women.

 

In light of the above, civil society says there is an urgent need to establish a new fair global climate fund to help developing countries build resilience to the impacts of climate change, protect their forests and adopt low carbon development pathways.

 

The civic groups also compelled Ministers to do more than just start the process to establish a new fund by making political decisions on the nature of that fund.

 

Turning to the issue of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, the civic groups said the regional distribution of CDM projects has been poor and biased towards the Asian countries and Latin America, with Africa being left out.

 

In an interview, Zimbabwean climate expert and negotiator, Mr Washington Zhakata, confirmed that in Africa only South Africa benefited from the Clean Development Mechanism funding.

 

He said the Africa group, with Zimbabwe included, would like to see more of the projects coming into Africa as a whole.

 

According to Mr Zhakata, Zimbabwe as one of the developing countries which is supposed to benefit from the CDM funds only has CDM concepts on paper which for sometime now have been awaiting funding for implementation.

 

Among some of the projects still on paper are the mini-hydro power generation proposals for the Eastern Highlands and some waste management projects to do with the conversion of methane from waste into electricity.

 

Set up under the Kyoto Protocol, the CDM mechanism seeks to reduce greenhouse gases by allowing companies in developed nations to meet some of their emissions targets by initiating and funding greenhouse gas reduction projects in developing countries, where reduction costs are lower and whatever emission is reduced is credited to those companies.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management, Cde Francis Nhema has arrived in Cancun, Mexico, the venue for this year’s Climate change conference.

He is expected to address the conference on Thursday afternoon.