Africa and the EU have endorsed a Joint Declaration on climate change outlining their common concerns for global warming and their common interest for an ambitious post-Kyoto international agreement.
Africa has been identified by both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) IV Assessment Report (2007) and by the Bali Action Plan as one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change and climate variability, while contributing very little to global warming. African countries face already the worst of the impact as proven by unpredictable rainfall, lower crop yields and diminishing resources. The vulnerability of Africa to climate change is exacerbated by widespread poverty, limited access to capital and technology, ecosystem degradation, disasters and conflicts.
The Joint Africa/EU declaration shows that the EU and the African countries have similar concerns on climate change and that different views can be reconciled against the urgency of global warming. It is an important milestone towards common approaches, enhanced cooperation and ambitious targets for a post-Kyoto climate change agreement.
The Joint Declaration is the result of collaborative work undertaken within the framework of the recent 11th Africa-EU Ministerial Troika that took place on 20 and 21 November in Addis Ababa. It also builds on the results of the African Environment Ministers Conference on Climate Change that took place in parallel in Algiers on 20 November and that resulted in the Algiers Declaration on Climate Change in Africa.
The Joint Declaration constitutes an important contribution to the UNFCCC conference on climate change in Poznan, Poland (1-12 of December 2008).