Molewa hopeful Bonn climate talks can deliver assurances
So said Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, who leads the South African delegation to the 23rd UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (CoP23).
The convention is expected to advance work on the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement, discuss loss and damage owing to climate change, finance, technology and capacity building for developing countries.
“In determining the climate action during the pre-2020 period, COP23 is crucial in determining what is required of all parties to continue the good work that we have been doing to ensure that clear elements of action are agreed to that can be converted into text early in 2018,” Molewa said.
It was important there was agreement this year on the contents of, and accounting for, Nationally Determined Contributions submitted by Parties to the UNFCCC and how parties should communicate and report on action related to their adaptation efforts and needs.
“We are hopeful that all issues of importance to developing countries, such as adaptation and means of implementation, will be addressed in the rule book to be adopted before 2020,” Molewa said.
The South African team also worked in collaboration with the National Business Initiative (NBI), in hosting a series of dialogue at pavilions to focus on collective efforts between the government, business and civil society at a country level, in both adaptation and mitigation.
Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson welcomed delegates to the South African pavilion.
“The Paris Agreement is not just about climate, it is about social and developmental issues and ensuring that by the end of COP23 there is at least a draft text in preparation for COP24 in Poland next year and which developed nations commit to further reducing their emission gaps in the pre-2020 period.
“Also that the developing world can access the finance to assist with adaptation to, and mitigation of, climate change in other words, the implementation of our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs),” Thomson said.
The Treasury is working on finalising the carbon tax legislation and the carbon offset regulations, which will also contribute to South Africa’s greenhouse gas emission reduction outcome, she added.
The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme had been successful in contributing to the country’s emission reduction, and with the country’s significant solar and wind resources will continue to grow renewable energy in the energy mix. In the past five years, the Industrial Energy Efficiency Project has assisted industry to achieve energy savings worth over R1.54billion,” Thomson said.