The leaders of ten African countries are gathering in Ethiopia to try to agree a common position on climate change, writes the BBC.

The summit is one of a number of crucial talks in preparation for the UN meeting of leaders in Copenhagen in December.

The move to agree a common negotiating platform for Africa is a recognition of the failure of the continent to make its voice heard on the global stage. One of the documents prepared for the meeting talks about the ‘dismal co-ordination’ of the African negotiation process, according to the BBC.

Delegations from individual countries in Africa have so far had limited success in making the case that Africa needs special help in ensuring it is recognised as producing the lowest emissions of carbon dioxide on the planet.

In an attempt to change this, the African Union is bringing together the leaders of ten countries under the chairmanship of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi with the aim of proposing the continent is represented by one delegate at the Copenhagen talks.

The African leaders hope that speaking with one voice at Copenhagen will significantly enhance their negotiating position, reports the BBC.