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More weapons won't save the world from climate change: Ramaphosa tells G21

SA President calls for financial assistance as AU joins G20

Bobby Jordan Senior reporter
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS

Industrialised countries need to prioritise development over destruction if the world wishes to mitigate the negative effects of climate change, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Saturday.

He was addressing a weekend summit of the G20 — now Group of 21 — in the wake of the AU’s incorporation in the inter-governmental forum. The group was formed in 1999 to tackle major global issues such as poverty and climate change.

In his speech, Ramaphosa highlighted the need for developing nations to access financial assistance from development partners, as per international framework agreements such as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.

“Ordinary people see billions of dollars being spent on the weapons of war instead of addressing development challenges,” Ramaphosa said. “Development partners need to both meet their existing commitments and upscale official development assistance.

“Developing economies are bearing the brunt of climate change, despite carrying the least responsibility for this crisis. As African and other developing economy countries, we face the task of meeting our climate commitments in the midst of significant developmental challenges like poverty, inequality and unemployment.

“Climate change, environmental degradation, unsustainable consumption and production and resource scarcity are challenges that can only be addressed collectively and with a great deal of solidarity,” Ramaphosa said.

The AU’s inclusion in the G20 was announced earlier on Saturday by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The AU is the second regional bloc to become a permanent member after the EU. 


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