Plans finalised ahead of COP17

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pretoria - With less than 25 days to go before the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) climate talks kick off in Durban, government and stakeholders are confident the plans put in place for the summit are on track.

Edna Molewa, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, hosted the last Stakeholder Engagement Summit aimed at updating stakeholders on the country's state of readiness to participate in COP17, as well as share with stakeholders progress on key areas of South Africa's responsibility at COP17 in Johannesburg today.

A series of engagements have been held across the country as part of the build up towards the conference.

In today's engagement, participants were confident that all was in place for the summit, and that a fair, credible and balanced outcome would be reached.

"We are going to Durban with no illusion that it will be a walk in the park, but we are ready to fight," said Environmental Affairs Chief Negotiator Alf Wills.

He said South Africa's position was influenced by the changing world for the industrial countries. He said SA would try to find a balance beyond effective implementation.

He said the key to Durban will be what Cancun did not agree on, like the commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, sufficient ambition to prevent long term global emissions and a fair allocation of burden cost.

Molewa said for Durban to be successful, there needed to be resolutions and a second commitment to the Kyoto Protocol. Other success factors included finance, mitigation and adaptation, which would be key priority for developing countries.

SA has developed a White Paper on Climate Change, which puts the country on higher ground and will ensure that government will address the issue of climate change, and that country transitions into a low carbon economy.

Molewa said the policy would embody government's commitment to a fair contribution to stabilising global greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, protect the country and its people from the impacts of unavoidable climate change and present government's climate response and long term transition into climate resilience.

She said her department would continue to further engage stakeholders on the implementation process of the policy.