Rwanda pushes for speedy climate deal

STOCKHOLM - Rwanda is concerned by the seeming lack of significant movement towards a climate change agreement ahead of the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen. This was said by the Minister for Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, during talks with the Swedish government in Stockholm Friday.
Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi (L) with the Swedish
Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi (L) with the Swedish

STOCKHOLM - Rwanda is concerned by the seeming lack of significant movement towards a climate change agreement ahead of the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen.

This was said by the Minister for Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, during talks with the Swedish government in Stockholm Friday.

Kamanzi was meeting the Swedish Minister for Environment, Andreas Carlgren, on the sidelines of the 2009 EU development symposium, the European Development Days.

Sweden is one of the most important players in the climate change talks – the voice for the 25-member EU block – by virtue of holding the EU presidency.

“There are lots of worries that nothing seems to be done in a significant manner,” Kamanzi warned.

He added that while many countries realised the threat of unmitigated climate change, time was running out for a deal in time for the much-anticipated UN Copenhagen climate change conference in December.
“We are losing time”, he said.

Carlgren acknowledged that some countries were assuming unnecessarily belligerent positions, but assured his Rwandan counterpart that the EU was working hard to ensure that a comprehensive climate change deal is signed in December.

“We have not, and we will not diminish our expectations for Copenhagen,” said Carlgren.

“The EU has reached a position where we would immediately start with global support of between five and seven billion Euros if Copenhagen is signed”, he added.

The package would finance mitigation and adaptation efforts in Africa and other developing countries.

Referring to President Paul Kagame’s address to the recent UN Summit on Climate Change as one of many examples, Kamanzi said Rwanda was actively seeking for a solution that would benefit both wealthy and poor countries.

While explaining the need for developed countries to foot the climate change mitigation and adaptation bill commensurate with their past and present contribution to pollution, he said Africa and the rest of the developing world also had a “responsibility” to go green.

Separately on Friday, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Rose Mukantabana, held talks with two members of the Swedish Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, Ms Rosita Runegrund of the Christian Democrats and Bodil Ceballos from the Green Party.

The Speaker briefed the Swedish parliamentarians on the progress Rwanda had made over the last 15 years.

Both bilateral meetings were also attended by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Eugene Munyakayanza, the Rwandan Ambassador to the Nordic Countries, Jacqueline Mukangira and the First Counselor of the Rwandan Embassy to the Nordic Countries, Augustus Musenga.

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