Published online 3 June 2009 | Nature 459, 627 (2009) | doi:10.1038/459627d

News in Brief

Africa declares its stance for climate-change talks

More than 300 African negotiators, ministers, experts and agency representatives converged on Nairobi last week to forge a shared vision on climate change. Their conclusion: to ask for more financial and technical support to help Africa cope, but with few specifics.

"It was difficult to agree on how much to ask for," says Sputnik Ratner, a spokesman for Buyelwa Sonjica, South Africa's minister of water and environmental affairs, who chaired the ministerial meetings. "Different countries have different needs."

The 'Nairobi declaration' also asks industrialized countries to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions towards the upper end of the pledged 25–40% cut below 1990 levels by 2020. The declaration is meant to serve as a starting point for Africa's negotiations at climate meetings being held this week in Bonn, Germany, and scheduled for December in Copenhagen, to hammer out a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

Despite the declaration's vagueness, the United Nations Environment Programme hailed it as a "landmark position" and a "major milestone on the road for combating climate change on the continent". 

For a longer version of this story, see http://tinyurl.com/afclim.

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