Dec 12, 2011
SA team insists COP 17 was a success, but accepts serious gaps remainBack
DURBAN|Pretoria|Africa|Greenpeace International|Water|Africa|South Africa|United States|COP|Technology Mechanism|Environmental|Edna Molewa|Kumi Naidoo|Water
© Reuse this
However, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said at a press briefing in Pretoria that, while African positions had been strongly expressed, especially in the adaptation committees and on the technology mechanism, more needed to be done in the area of mitigation.
Acknowledging loopholes in certain COP 17 outcomes and issues, South Africa’s chief negotiator Alf Wills also remained ardent in his opposition to the view that the climate negotiations had failed. “We have closed the gap on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and the outcomes indicate that urgent and meaningful action is needed now,” he said.
Many environmental groups expressed disappointment at the lack of progress, with the World Wide Fund for Nature arguing that government showed an “alarming inability to come to grips with the challenge of climate change”. The organisation added that it was “unacceptable” that governments “got practically nothing done” during two weeks of negotiation.
Others were even more strident, with Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo arguing that government listened to carbon-intensive polluting corporations instead of to the people. “Right now the global climate regime amounts to nothing more than a voluntary deal,” he said, adding that the exclusion of a clause making a future deal “legally binding” was a “loophole” that could be exploited with disastrous consequences.
The South African government acknowledged the fact that the US had not joined the Kyoto Protocol and that not all developed countries were willing to place their commitments under the protocol. “To address this gap, we have established a process to increase the transparency of the mitigation efforts of both developed and developing countries,” Molewa said.
To ensure the full participation of those developed countries that have indicated that they will not enter into a second-commitment period, the commitments were balanced with a mechanism to capture, under the Convention, the economy-wide emission reduction targets of those developed countries and subject them to international assessment and reporting transparency and accountability procedure.
But it was also accepted that even if the most ambitious current emission targets are met, emissions would still exceed what the science suggested was needed to curb the climate change threat.
“The question that we face is how best to address this gap recognising that it is more that just an ‘ambition gap’, it is also an implementation, financial, technology, capacity and legal gap,” Molewa said.
But she added that any attempt in Durban to force countries to do more than they were willing to do in the midst of the prevailing social, developmental, economic and political challenges, would have resulted in ‘no deal’.
“The outcome of Durban is a historical achievement and will substantially advance the global climate agenda,” Molewa concluded.
Edited by: Terence Creamer© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Video News
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...