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#RoadtoParis Regional Dialogue: Day 1 Highlights

April 15th, ClimateWed.Org: The Road to Paris meeting kicked off on Tuesday 7th April 2014 in the presence of H.E. Mr. Belete Tafere, Minister of Environment and Forest, Ethiopia, H.E. Ms. Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, France, and H.E. Dr. Nabil Mohamed, Minister of Higher Education and Research, Djibouti, amongst others.

Dr. Araya Asfaw, Executive Director of the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center and Network (HoA-REC&N) and Dr. Muawia Shaddad, Chairman of Horn of Africa Regional Environment Network (HoA-REN) welcomed all delegates, ministers and other speakers.
Dr. Mengesha Mamo, on behalf of Dr. Admasu Tsegaye, President of Addis Ababa University (AAU); Mr. Ismail Elgizouli, Acting Chairman, United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Mr. Mithika Mwenda, Secretary General, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and Mr. Lawrence Muli, Partnership Adviser, African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) were among the other speakers.

In his speech, H.E Mr. Tafere highlighted the need for a new agreement that includes all countries so as to mitigate and adapt to climate change according to their respective capacities. He also accentuated Ethiopia’s commitment to fully engage in the climate change negotiations in Paris.

H.E. Mrs. Girardin underscored that the issue of climate change is the issue of peace, security, justice, equity and development.  On climate change, “We want an agreement written by all and for all,” she said.
H.E. Dr. Mohamed emphasized the need to look for realistic and adaptive solutions to deal with climate change in Africa. He called on the youth, women, academia, and private stakeholders to have a collective voice and action for a greater impact in tackling climate change in Africa.
Dr. Mamo underscored that AAU is currently conducting research to better understand climate change and to help the Ethiopian government achieve a green economy.
Mr. Elgizouli, on his part, stressed the importance of a global solution to climate change— one that is equitable and effective.

Mr. Muli speaking on the IPCC reports underlined the need to use a language that is understandable by the youth, especially those living in rural areas. He also mentioned the need for increased use of literature, assessments and involvement of scientists from developing countries in formulating the IPCC assessment reports.

The delegates deliberated on the expectations of Africa’s civil society organizations, youth and academia towards an inclusive COP 21 climate agreement. The roles of African media in international climate change negotiations were also part of the discussion. Mr. Aaron Kaah Yancho from Pan African Media Alliance on Climate Change emphasized the need for framing of stories, shaping opinions, encouraging innovative ideas and enhancing evidence based front line reporting on climate change.

H.E. Mr. Stéphane Gompertz, Ambassador for Climate Change for Africa and Indian Ocean, France, outlined the various initiatives at the upcoming COP 21 by the French Government to ensure a zero carbon emission.

During the discussion, Mr. Ergizouli explained about a draft agreement on climate change that would be made ready and be translated into different languages six months before COP 21 takes place.
Dr. Fatima Denton from UNECA-African Climate Policy Center stressed that Africa has to go to Paris with a strategy. She concluded by stating that the greatest opportunity for Africa is to unite its position to come up with a shared vision.

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#RoadtoParis Regional Dialogue: Day 1 Highlights Reviewed by Olumide Idowu on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Rating: 5
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