NOS News•today, 18:20
African leaders discussed the major consequences of climate change on the African continent and ways to deal with it at a climate summit in Rotterdam today. Prime Minister Rutte was also present at the summit, but several other Western leaders were absent.
In November, leaders from around the world will gather for the major annual climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Today’s meeting was a preliminary discussion and took place at the request of the African countries.
They suffer from severe drought, floods and famines due to climate change. “While Africa is responsible for only 3 percent of global warming,” Patrick Verkooijen, director of the Global Center on Adaptation and organizer of the summit, said earlier today in the NOS Radio 1 News.
The climate problem in Africa is still too low on the priority list of many Western countries, says Verkooijen. According to him, these problems also have consequences for the West itself. “Africa is a very important trading partner for Europe and other continents.”
Western leaders are missing
At the summit, several African leaders expressed their satisfaction with the meeting. Yet there was also disappointment about the lack of Western leaders and companies. For example, Prime Minister Rutte did not join until later in the afternoon, and French Prime Minister Macron sent a minister in his place. “It would have been easier for European leaders to come here than for us, but where are they?” asked Senegalese President Macky Sall.
Prime Minister Rutte acknowledged that the turnout was “not at the level we would have liked”. He also pointed out that last year during the climate summit in Glasgow it was agreed that financing for climate adaptation should be doubled. “Delivering on this promise is now our top collective priority.”