Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, head of the African Union Commission, has called for equity in the distribution of funds meant to help African countries face the challenge of climate change.
"While Africa emits the least carbon dioxide in the world, it is the continent that is most affected by climate change phenomenon. We call for equity in the distribution and benefits of the climate funds," she said. Africa is being overlooked in receipt of the money, she added.
She spoke during the opening of the 20th Ordinary Session of the Africa Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Speaking during the same event, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the UN is making extra efforts to ensure that the world has a legally binding treaty on climate change by the year 2015.
He said this will help Africa get assistance to overcome the challenges it is facing as a result of the changing climate and ensure that climate change investment funds are distributed fairly.
Climate change lobby groups like the World Development Movement have previously said that money meant to assist the poor overcome the effects of climate change ends up with big corporations given as grants and loans to build wind and solar power firms.
Some countries, like the grouping of the East Africa Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) have already started processes of setting up their own climate change funds to help mitigate against the growing effects of the climate changes.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) also plans to spend 8 billion U.S. dollars between 2011-2015 on climate change investments under its Strategy of Climate Risk Management and Adaptation that seeks to build capacity of African countries to tackle climate change risks.
Scientific evidence in eastern and horn of Africa regions has already been recorded of drier lands becoming drier while agriculturally rich highlands are receiving lesser rainfall and severe cold periods that for instance affected tea crop output in Kenya in 2009.