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Climate: AU to seek damages

OUAGADOUGOU, Oct 11 – Africa, the continent hardest hit by climate change, will demand that reparations and damages be paid by polluting countries, African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping said Sunday.

At the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December, "Africa will present a common position for the first time," Ping said, speaking at the seventh World Forum for Sustainable Development which focuses on climate change being held in Burkina Faso’s capital.

"We have decided to speak with one voice" and "will demand reparation and damages," he added, not saying how much money Africa would seek.

On Friday Burkina Faso’s environment minister Salifou Sawadogo, one of the organisers of the forum, said the continent needed 65 billion dollars (44 billion euros) to deal with the effects of climate change.

"Policy makers have to agree to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses and adhere to the principle that the pollutor pays," Ping said.

The forum in Ouagadougou where several African heads of state met key policy makers to discuss the opportunities climate change could offer for sustainable development is due to wrap up Sunday.

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