His statement today, while not having any official bearing on the negotiations, undermines the bold positions of African negotiators and ministers represented here (see para 22 in this document http://unfccc.int/files/kyoto_protocol/application/pdf/algeriaafrican111209.pdf) , and threatens the very future of Africa.
The African Group made a formal submission to the UNFCCC on Saturday and that submission is Africa's position.
Prime Minister Meles' position:
* Threatens Africa with catastrophic damage by allowing warming to rise by 2 degrees C globally and therefore by around 3 degrees on the continent of Africa. It risks the lives and livelihoods of literally hundreds of millions of people, including the people of Ethiopia;
* Allocates to the industrialized countries including France atmospheric space worth more than 10 trillion dollars between now and 2050, denying it to developing countries, and threatening Africa's prospects of economic and social development and the alleviation of poverty; and
* Offers a mere @10 billion in financing for all developing countries in fast-start funding.
"The IPCC science is clear - 2 degrees is 3 degrees in Africa - this is death to millions of Africans" said Hon Awudu Mbaya, President of Pan-African Parliamentarians Network on Climate Change
"If Prime Minister Meles wants to sell out the lives and hopes of Africans for a pittance - he is welcome to - but that is not Africa's position" Mithika Mwenda of Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance.
"Every other African country has committed to policy based on the science. That means at least 45% cuts by rich countries by 2020 and it means $400 billion fast-track finance not $10 billion" said Augustine Njamnshi of Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance.
"You cannot say you are proposing a 'solution' to climate change if your solution will see millions of Africans die and if the poor not the polluters keep paying for climate change" said Augustine Njamnshi.
This announcement reeks of "divide and rule" tactics designed to subjugate Africa and undermine good faith negotiations in the United Nations. We call on all Africans and citizens of developed countries to join together to condemn Ethiopia's unilateral position.
President Meles Zenawi must rescind his position or step down as Coordinator of African Heads of State and Governments on Climate Change.
Written by Mohamed Adow
Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance