ACP PRESS RELEASE, 9 November 2011: Key talks amongst members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States will take place next week in Brussels in preparation for the United Nations’ global conference on climate change (COP17) in Durban, South Africa in late November.

The ACP Group will hold a one-day conference on renewable energy on Monday 14 November, before spending the next two days exchanging views towards a common position for COP17, hosted this year by ACP member state South Africa.

“Energy is a very critical topic for the ACP region, especially since it plays a major part in development itself. We are not only looking at how to unlock solutions to energy crises in our developing nations, but also how to do so in ways that are both economically and environmentally sustainable. The link between sustainable energy practices and climate change is very explicit,” stated Assistant Secretary General of the ACP Group, Mr Achille Bassilekin III.

The Conference on Renewable Energy will bring together about 200 key stakeholders from across Europe and the ACP countries to share information and make recommendations on benefits of renewables and investment opportunities.

Based on the presentations and roundtable dialogue, experts will draft a detailed action plan for promoting partnerships on energy sources in ACP countries, including a sound response to climate change. The document will be published at a later date.

ACP Ambassadors will then hold preparatory meetings for COP17 on 15 and 16 November.

Updates will be provided from key technical specialists, policy makers and negotiators from the ACP region on formulating country standpoints on climate change. The European Union’s DG CLIMA will also give an overview of the EU position, giving special attention to issues concerning ACP states.

“Without doubt, climate change is one of the most critical challenges our member countries face. The ACP Group includes 48 Least Developed Countries and 36 Small Island Developing States, all of which have intrinsic vulnerabilities that put them at further risk of the impacts of climate change. COP16 successfully reconfirmed the need for a final long-term global deal to address some of the issues, but we need a concerted and united effort from ACP states to speed up this process,” added Mr Bassilekin.

He said the output of the meetings is expected to provide a blueprint for a common ACP position leading up to the conference in Durban, and serve as a key document in other contexts, such as the G77 summits. -END-

For more information contact Josephine Latu, Press Attache +32 2 7430617 or