Dec 12, 2011
SA team insists COP 17 was a success, but accepts serious gaps remainBack
DURBAN|Pretoria|Greenpeace International|Africa|South Africa|United States|COP|Technology Mechanism|Edna Molewa|Kumi Naidoo
© 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
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 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...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
Projects in Progress - Second Edition (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s second Projects in Progress supplement considers some of the major project developments under way, including high-profile energy and transport projects, as well as a few of the lower-profile public and private developments. What remains apparent is...
Water 2013: A review of South Africa’s water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2013 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.
Canadian Mining Roundup for June 2013 (PDF Report)
The June 2013 roundup includes details of the development of TSX-V-listed Aldridge Minerals’ flagship Yenipazar polymetallic project, in Turkey; the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s renewal of Cameco’s uranium mining licence pertaining to the Cigar Lake...
This Week's Magazine
Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) has introduced a 4x2 derivative of its Pajero Sport sports-utility vehicle (SUV), which will give it access to a substantial slice of the full-size SUV market, where it will compete with the likes of the Ford Everest, Chevrolet...
South African Energy Minister Ben Martins has affirmed that the government wants the country to be globally competitive in the nuclear sector. "Our responsibility has always been ... to ensure that, in nuclear energy, South Africa can compete with the rest of the...
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) president and CEO Dr Martin Zimmermann describes the new S-Class as “a special place to be”, with the car creating a sense of “wellness” once you are seated inside the German brand’s flagship model. It is difficult to argue...
Water scarcity and water-quality issues are broadly recognised and understood in most political, business and civil organisations in South Africa, but solving water issues will require wide and continuous action in catchments and municipalities by organisations and...
Work is well under way on the R212-million Imvutshane dam, 30 km north-west of Stanger, in KwaZulu-Natal, which is a key link in supplying people in rural Maphumulo with a reliable source of safe drinking water.