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In the Newsroom

September 17, 2009
In the Newsroom: Africa and climate change

Connie Kargbo is an associate producer at Worldfocus and a native of Sierra Leone.  She blogs here about her opinion on Africa and climate change policy.

Floods are thought to be one of the more severe effects of climate change. Dakar, Senegal. Photo: IRIN

Throughout history Africa has repeatedly gotten the short end of the stick. Colonialism left the continent decades behind other developing regions. Diamonds mined deep in the heart of Africa breed bloody conflicts as they flee the continent to adorn the fingers of westerners.

There is a chance now to change the script.

World leaders gather next week at the UN General Assembly to discuss climate change and prepare for the larger climate change conference in Copenhagen in December. The Copenhagen conference is seeking to produce a successor to the Kyoto Protocol environment treaty.  This time, Africa has come out with its boxing gloves ready to fight for the best climate change deal for the continent.

African leaders have read the scientific studies and seem well aware of the stark facts behind the effects of climate change.  Despite how little their countries contribute to the overall global carbon emissions, according to a recent development report out by the World Bank developing nations will bear 75-80 percent of the cost of our changing climate.  This seemingly unfair contradiction is why African leaders such as Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi are defiantly threatening to walk out of the Copenhagen conference in December if Africa’s demand for monetary compensation from carbon-intensive rich countries is not appropriately addressed. In his own words, “”if needs be we are prepared to walk out of any negotiations that threaten to be another rape of our continent.” South Africa, one of the world’s top polluters, has entered the ring as well stressing that it will not sacrifice economic growth for the sake of reducing carbon emissions.

Although these various approaches to securing a better deal for Africa are controversial, one thing seems constant: Africa is unified as the Copenhagen meeting nears. It’s been a long time coming.

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If the findings of CBO over the cost of “Inaction” had been released at the beginning of conversation about health care, surely Ted Kennedy could’ve seen his lifetime wish come through, saving enormous time, energy and money nation-wide.

((Some of CBO analysis : While the costs of the financial bailouts and economic stimulus bills are staggering, they are only a fraction of the coming costs from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that each year Medicaid will expand by 7 percent, Medicare by 6 percent, and Social Security by 5 percent. These programs face a 75-year shortfall of $43 trillion–60 times greater than the gross cost of the $700 billion TARP financial bailout)).

And supposedly the same is of conversation over the highly-anticipated energy independence. Nowadays, the world-wide overpopulation growing consistently is using up tremendous fossil fuel at an alarming pace as the own conventional resources in some dense countries is facing drastic dent.

For that reason, it is widely accepted that the price of fossil fuel is expected to go up and up simply, which is behind major states taking a bold and speedy action in a bid to put the global economy on a solid ground, and probably this space will be an all but boundless and last resort to count on for everlasting flourishing.

As with well-structured public option, sustainable option is holding down the runaway price of fossil fuel down the line by joining force throughout the world as the world economy is tightly interconnected just like Internet.

In brief, it will be noteworthy that we are living in a time Ecology & Economy, and Public Health & Financial Health are inseparable. Taking the issue of world-wide overpopulation under control, the world has sufficient technology to live in peace for good.

For the record, Indian EV maker Reva said it has also set about addressing anxieties about e-car range on the basis of this technology. This fantastic remote electricity/ “instant remote recharge” is already available, it’s nothing of the future.

Here is a demo of wireless electricity on TED. Please search for an available technology, in conjunction with

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