President Jacob Zuma File picture: Independent Media

Johannesburg - Climate change is a global challenge and developing countries should be provided with adequate support for their mitigation and adaptation actions, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

"Climate change is a global challenge that requires no one to be left behind. The whole world affirmed this in Paris and Marrakech when the Paris Agreement entered into force on the 4th November last year," Zuma said at the conclusion of the Meeting of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York, United States of America.

The Presidency said that Zuma urged the Africa Group to work together to ensure that the implementation of the Paris Agreement was a success.

He said that negotiations on the Paris rule-book should remain on track in order to ensure that there was sufficient clarity on Parties' commitments under their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) on mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation.

"Developing countries should be provided with adequate support for their mitigation and adaptation actions and progress should be made on a post-2020 finance goal that should be significant more than the 2020 goal 100 billion US dollars per year in climate finance," he said.

"The efforts of developing countries to adapt to climate change with their own resources should also be recognised as a contribution to the global effort to address climate change."

Zuma said that it was important for the Africa Group - particularly in the time of global uncertainty - to emphasise adherence to the principles of the Convention, in particular the common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities, equity and the need for developed countries to take the lead in combating climate change, the Presidency said.

Zuma told the meeting that infrastructure investment was a key to development, and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), provided a blue print for such collaboration, the Presidency said. 

He said that the Africa Group needed to explore the appropriate blend of public, multilateral and private finance to accelerate investment. 

"The African Renewable Energy Initiative and the Africa Adaptation Initiative should focus on identified synergies and funding opportunities, while encouraging best practise sharing, peer learning and tapping into technical skills available in the Continent," he said.

"We should also focus on building partnerships with the aim of building capacity low-carbon planning and improving the relevant institutions in the energy, transport and the water sectors. We should also exploit opportunities in solar and wind power as well as gas, hydro, biofuels as alternatives energy sources."