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KING, OBAMA TALK CLIMATE CHANGE

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By Musa Ndlangamandla - SWAZI OBSERVER-24-Sep-2009

HIS Majesty King Mswati III yesterday joined US President Barack Obama and other world leaders, whom he urged to step-up the gear in availing funds to the developping countries for programmes to deal with the effects of climate change.

The King noted that the poor and vulnerable of the world, were carrying the harshest brunt, and paying the highest price of the effects of climate change - yet were the least responsible for the phenomenon.

His Majesty made the remarks when making an intervention during a Summit on Climate Change, which was organised by UN Secretary General to gunner political support for a major Confrence of Parties scheduled for Copenhagen in December. The theme is: “Power Green growth, Protect the Planet” and is held at the sidelines of the 64th UN General Assembly.

Campaign

“Bearing in mind that we are on a campaign to ‘Save the World’ we will strongly support positive decisions and a robust and improved financial structure at Copenhagen to achieve the objectives of the Climate Change Convention,” he said. Added His Majesty: “Our world today is faced with a huge challenge of mostly human induced greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, which is now changing the natural climate system and imacting severely on the poor and the vulnerable, who are least responsible for this phenomenon and are paying the highest price. Therefore, it is important for developing countries to access funding for activities under the UN Climate Change Convention,” he said.

His Majesty assured the world that the kingdom of Swaziland was taking its commitment under the Convention very seriously and will play its part fully in the campaign - to reduce gas emissions and promote a clean and safe environment for generations to come.

“To this end, Swaziland has already established the Swaziland Environment Authority whose mandate is to monitor and ensure that Swaziland retains a clean and healthy environment through the use of appropriate technology,” he said. For example, the King said Swaziland was in the process of establishing a thermal power station that will meet the country’s energy needs - indicating that government will ensure that such a plant adheres to strict environmental protection standards.

“We are determined in ensuring that in carrying out this project we do not repeat the mistakes made by some industrialists in the past. I, therefore, implore the international community to assist us to access the most appropriate technology,” he said. His Majesty told the Summit that the Kingdom welcomes and appreciates the efforts made through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to provide financial support to developing countries towards addressing the effects of climate change. “We also acknowledge the financial support towards fulfilling our commitments under the framework to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. We further observe that there are different Funds, but the existing financial mechanisms are inadequate, fragmented, complex and difficult to support the implementation of the framework. We are calling for a coherent financial structure to fund Climate Change strategies,” he said.

His Majesty insisted that such a structure should have equitable governance - where developing nations have a say. The King added that there already were examples of the practicability of this approach as is the case with the Montreal Protocol - where the developed world was urged to assist developing countries participate fully in climate change programmes.

The King added that the Kingdom of Swaziland further welcomes the establishment of the Adaptation Fund, amongst other Funds, saying the former seeks to provide assistance to the most vulnerable and poor countries. The King said Swaziland would like to see additional funding and more contributors.

Confident

“In this way, we are confident that the fund will address the challenges of accessibility and will extend beyond the current arrangement where proceeds come only from the Clean Development Mechanism - which seeks to reduce global emissions. We acknowledge the existence of other Funds, most of which deal with mitigation, and call for their review to make it easier to achieve their intended objectives,” he said.

He said the Kingdom would like to see the Financial mechanisms extending to the technological transfer, capacity building and systematic observation and monitoring as a means to address the challenges of climate change. The King said the Kingdom of Swaziland would like to see an action plan to accelerate the development, deployment and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies. “The Copenhagen outcome should come up with a structure that shall be governed by principles of equity that will take the interests of developing countries and include them as decision making partners. lastly, the developed countries must assure us of an action oriented commitment. I would like to assure you that the Kingdom of Swaziland is undertyaking its commtment under the Convention and will play its part fully in this campaign,” he said.


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