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Green diplomacy wanted

Posted on Thursday, 6 August 2015 09:35

The flurry of diplomatic manoeuvring continues. Ahead of December’s global climate deal conference in Paris, China’s proposal for capping its emissions made a huge thud on desks around the world from its sheer number of pages.

Germany’s own proposal, in a 1,000- page email attachment, followed on to clog up the inbox of the negotiators.

But while the climate officials sharpen their pencils and their rhetoric, how ready are African diplomats?

South Africa’s former environment minister Valli Moosa is coordinating the global discussions, and Pretoria seems well prepared. Elsewhere, not so much.

With the continental bodies unable to articulate a strong position – the AU is riven with mistrust and the African Development Bank is in a leadership transition – who else can pick up the baton?

There is cash for bankable renewable energy projects out there, but countries like India are better organised and are hoovering up the funds.

It is time for some strong leadership on the issue, especially as Africa has the chance to leapfrog centralised fossil fuel systems and switch straight to clean energy

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