UPDATE – U.N. launches climate plan for Africa

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has launched the Nairobi Framework, a two-year plan to help poor countries, especially Africa, participate in the U.N.-backed Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to avoid greenhouse gas emissions.

Addressing an international climate change conference in Nairobi November 15, Annan announced the plan by six U.N. agencies to help developing nations obtain more funds to promote clean energies such as hydropower and wind. (HNN 11/14/06) He urged donor countries to contribute.

Annan said the U.N.’s environment and development agencies also are launching a scheme to help poor nations factor climate change into development plans, such as �climate-proofing� infrastructure that can withstand more floods or droughts that might result from global warming.

The U.N.-backed Kyoto Protocol sets limits on rich nations’ emissions of gases that might contribute to global warming. However, it allows them to meet the limits by funding CDM clean energy projects in developing countries. CDM trade was worth some US$5 billion in the past 20 months or so, but has mostly gone to China, Brazil, and India. (HNN 11/15/06)

�It is no secret that, to date, only a few countries in sub-Saharan Africa are likely to benefit from the CDM in coming years,� Director Olav Kjorven of the U.N. Development Program said. �Most other countries in the region are shut out for a variety of financial and technical reasons. We aim to change this so that sub-Saharan Africa and other poor countries can have their fair share of carbon finance.”

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