Zuma to attend Climate summit

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma will lead a high powered government delegation to the forthcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, Cabinet confirmed on Thursday.

Zuma will join Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica, International Relations and Cooperations Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and other senior government officials.

The South African delegation is expected to take part in a series of discussions during the conference aimed at finding long lasting solutions to the climate change threat facing the world.

South Africa will be advocating for a successful outcome that will be inclusive, fair and effective and also taking into consideration issues of adaptation and mitigation and a balance between development and climate imperatives.

"Success in Copenhagen should strengthen climate resilient development and must urgently assist the world's poorest and most vulnerable to adapt to the inevitable impacts of a rapidly changing climate," Cabinet said in a statement.

South Africa, as a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, will be supporting an outcome that will enforce a legal binding agreement, especially among the developed nations, on greenhouse gas emission reduction.

The conference, to take place from 7 December, brings together all signatories to the UN Climate Change Convention to negotiate a broader and more ambitious global pact to combat climate change beyond 2012 when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCC comes to an end.