On Earth Day, Africa Action Calls for US Climate Legislation That Addresses International Adaptation and Mitigation

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Michael Stulman (202) 546-7961

On Earth Day, Africa Action Calls for US Climate Legislation That Addresses International Adaptation and Mitigation

Action Is Imperative Before the 2009 15th Conference of Parties in Copenhagen

WASHINGTON - Today on Earth Day, Africa Action calls for
responsible
financing that will enable developing countries to adapt and mitigate
the
inequitable impact of climate change. 
Robust U.S. action can create a fertile environment for
environmental
sustainability around the world.  This
will further help alleviate conflict resulting from scarcity of
resources in
various regions.  With U.S. leadership,
there is a possibility that hundreds of thousands of the world's
poorest people
could escape the cycle of poverty caused by environmental degradation.

According to a new
resource
released by Africa Action this morning, "Mainstream discourse on
climate
change needs to adopt a more holistic approach to development, as
opposed to a
definition of development that only takes growth into account and
excludes
environmental costs. Climate change mitigation and adaptation cannot be
divorced from each other
."  The new
resource, Cultivating Peace and Sustainability: Africa Action
Talking Points
on Climate Change,
is available on our website, www.africaaction.org

It is estimated that by 2020, agriculture in some countries in Africa could be
reduced by up to 50 percent, bringing increased hunger and the
destruction of
rural livelihoods.  The U.S. can
help prevent a humanitarian disaster by adopting policies that
acknowledge
peace and development are inextricably linked to environmental
sustainability
and supporting a responsible approach to mitigating the affects of
climate
change. 

"The U.S. cannot force African nations to divert critical
investments in
health, education and infrastructure in order to repay loans that were
allocated to mitigate the affects of a problem they did not cause,"

said Gerald LeMelle, Executive
Director at Africa
Action.   He adds, "While Africa
is responsible for only 4 percent of the world's carbon emissions,
Africans
have been disproportionately affected by the affects of shrinking
lakes,
recurrent droughts, and deforestation."

According to the
resource released today by Africa Action, two ways which funds can be
distributed to vulnerable countries include the United Nations
Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or the World Bank,
which in 2008 initiated the Pilot Program
on Climate Resilience. 

Michael Stulman, Associate Director
for Policy and Communications said
today, "New money should come in the form of grants,
not
loans.  This needs to be negotiated by
the communities most affected by climate change, and channeled through
the
UNFCCC."
Stulman adds, "A new international focus must be aimed
at women in
particular.   They are the primary
beneficiaries of adaptation/mitigation funding because women are often
the
providers of firewood, food and water."

Africa
Action calls for the U.S. to take action and exert leadership
that will protect the poor and most vulnerable.  Find
the new resource, Cultivating Peace and
Sustainability: Africa Action Talking Points on Climate Change,
on
our
website, www.africaaction.org

###

Africa Action is a national organization that works for political, economic and social justice in Africa. Through the provision of accessible information and analysis combined with the mobilization of public pressure we work to change the policies and policy-making processes of U.S. and multinational institutions toward Africa. The work of Africa Action is grounded in the history and purpose of its predecessor organizations, the American Committee on Africa (ACOA), The Africa Fund, and the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), which have fought for freedom and justice in Africa since 1953. Continuing this tradition, Africa Action seeks to re-shape U.S. policy toward African countries.

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