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World cannot afford more "inconclusive" climate change talks: Zambia

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 28 — Lucy Mungoma, the permanent secretary of Zambia's Foreign Ministry, said here Tuesday that there is no time to waste in coming up with a new, internationally agreed upon climate change regime.

"Time is running out and we can no longer afford the luxury of inconclusive talks each year," said the Zambian ambassador. "We call upon all parties to commit themselves to making progress and ensuring that agreement is reached on all outstanding issues so as to pave the way for a new climate change regime."

Mungoma's statements came as she delivered a speech at the annual general debate of the UN General Assembly.

She said that Zambia is looking forward to the 17th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17), to be held in Durban, South Africa from Nov. 28 to Dec.9.

"We are confident that these climate change talks will build on the positive outcome from the last talks held in Cancun, Mexico in December last year," she said. "Africa, hosting such talks for the first time, is determined to ensure a successful outcome."

Talks in Cancun (COP 16), Mexico, advanced progress in creating funding mechanisms and technology transfer mechanisms to help less developed countries to adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects. However, the Cancun talks did not produce a binding agreement among countries to cut carbon emissions.

"We also call for the immediate operationalization of all the funds so far established under the Climate Change Convention, thereby, making the financial resources accessible to countries in need," said Mungoma.

Mungoma pointed out that lower-income countries like Zambia are often left suffering from the impacts of climate change, a problem largely created by wealthier, developed nations.

"The adverse effects of climate change are disproportionately borne by poor countries such as my own," she said. "The effects of climate change are real and already affecting our agriculture, water, health, tourism and infrastructure to mention but some of the sectors. Yet, as we have repeatedly said, the rich countries are responsible for the historic build-up of the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere – the problem that has brought about global warming and climate change."

She concluded that due to their contributions to the climate change problem, the onus should be on developed countries to show leadership in solving it. (PNA/Xinhua)

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