JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the African Union to be included as a permanent member of the Group of 20 leading economies.
The representation would allow African countries to more effectively press the G-20 group to implement its pledge to help the continent to cope with climate change.
Ramaphosa made the call Tuesday at the G-20 summit in Indonesia. The G-20 meeting is taking place at the same time as the U.N. climate summit in Egypt.
“We call for continued G-20 support for the African Renewable Energy Initiative as a means of bringing clean power to the continent on African terms,” Ramaphosa said.
“This can be best achieved with the African Union joining the G-20 as a permanent member,” he told the gathering.
The African Union represents the continent’s 54 countries. The G-20 is composed of the world’s major industrial and emerging economies and represents more than 80% of the world’s gross domestic product.
Ramaphosa expressed concern at the “lack of progress in key issues” at the multilateral negotiations at the climate conference.
“Industrialized countries in the G-20 need to demonstrate more ambitious climate action and must honor their financial commitments to developing economies,” he said.
South Africa is currently the only African member of the G-20.