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
Other Environment News
Updated 5 minutes ago State-owned freight logistics group Transnet has awarded integrated solutions provider Tenova Mining & Minerals South Africa a contract for the supply of three reverse-pulse bagfilters. Two of the filters would be installed on multiproduct rail tipplers and one on a...
Updated 8 minutes ago Liquidators have now been appointed to wrap up the liquidation of financially distressed civil engineering group Protech Khuthele Holdings. Theodor Wilhelm van den Heever, Mark Abraham Christian, Irene Susan Ponnen and Mohamed Ismail Patel have been appointed to...
Updated 40 minutes ago Aluminium products supplier Hulamin, which on Monday reported a 42% year-on-year lift in earnings for the first half of 2014, has revealed that it is preparing an application for reciprocal import tariff protection, which it plans to lodge shortly with the...
Recent Research Reports
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.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...