Welcome. Join Us.
Published: 23 Sept. 2009
African countries offer solutions to global economic and climate crises
Pittsburgh -- World leaders meeting at the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Pittsburgh are being urged by the advocacy group ONE to put Africa at the heart of global recovery efforts by agreeing to hold a future summit on the continent in 2010.
The next G20 summit after Pittsburgh is slated for Seoul, South Korea early next year but a venue for a subsequent meeting has yet to be agreed.
"Holding a G20 summit in Africa would focus the world's largest economies on the importance of African development - and the vibrant role the continent can play in tackling the global challenges of poverty, hunger and climate change," said Tom Hart, Government Relations Director for ONE.
"The G20 has evolved into one of the most influential decision-making platforms on the planet; it must therefore grapple with the needs of the world's poorest people. A summit in Africa would showcase Africa's potential to help kick-start global recovery.
"With 900 million potential producers and consumers, Africa can be an important food and energy producer," Hart said. "It offers lucrative investment opportunities, and is a vital partner in the fight against climate change; it's time the rest of the world woke up to this reality."
ONE is calling on the Pittsburgh Summit to endorse a set of principles put forward by President Obama to improve agricultural support for poor countries, first announced at the G8 Summit in Italy in July. The World Bank estimates that growth in agriculture is twice as effective at reducing poverty as growth in other sectors. ONE is calling on countries to make clear how they will improve the quality and coordination of their aid to agriculture in line with these principles, and how much they will contribute to the initiative which intends to boost aid for farmers by US$20bn.
"Investing wisely in longer term support for farmers - building up rural infrastructure and access to markets - will help avert food crises like the one unfolding currently in East Africa and the Horn," said Tom Hart of ONE. "With so much rich agricultural land, it is perfectly feasible for African countries to feed themselves, and to become food producers for the rest of the world. Many African countries have produced their own viable, prioritised agriculture plans; donors should be lining up to support these."
ONE is also highlighting the need to help poor countries overcome the threats posed by climate change. A recent World Bank study put adaptation costs for developing countries at upwards of US$80bn a year, and said the world must act urgently to stop this figure becoming even higher. Africa has produced only 3.6 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions, yet many countries on the continent stand to be among the first and most seriously affected by increasingly erratic weather patterns and other climate induced impacts.
ONE's Tom Hart said: "The G20 should push climate negotiators to agree to a 'down payment' for developing countries, to help them deal with the disastrous impacts of climate change and build up trust between nations as we head towards the crucial climate negotiations in Copenhagen".
"In the longer term, there are innovative ways to raise money to help poor countries adapt to climate change. Germany has already committed to provide funds from the EU Emission Trading Scheme, for example; other countries should follow suit."
ONE is urging leaders at the Pittsburgh Summit to work with African countries to harness their promise as partners in the fight against climate change. Preserving the continent's rainforests and introducing innovative farming practices, for example, could help offset global carbon emissions. Africa could also be a valuable producer of green energy sources.
At the Pittsburgh Summit, ONE will also be calling on leaders to push to re-ignite the Doha trade negotiations, with a particular emphasis on improving the market access of the poorest countries so they can benefit more from trade.
Notes to editors
is twice as effective at reducing poverty as growth in other sectors.
yet many countries on the continent stand to be among the first and most seriously affected by climate induced impacts.
could help offset global carbon emissions. Africa could also be a valuable producer of green energy sources.