SA wants new, improved Kyoto Protocol - Sonjica

2009-12-16 13:05

THE Kyoto Protocol will not die out if South Africa and the

G77+China have any say in the matter.

America will also in future have to comply with binding greenhouse

gas reductions which will be comparable to other developed countries - even

though it might be under a different mechanism from the Kyoto protocol, Buyelwa

Sonjica, minister of water and environmental affairs said giving an overview of

expectations about SA’s role and expectations at the UN climate change talks in

Copenhagen.

Negotiations are at their most critical - with deeply divided

groups having to urgently find some middleground, said Connie Hedegaard,

chairperson of the COP15 meeting.

South Africa, like other developing countries, are for a new

binding international agreement.

If rich countries are prepared to commit to greater reductions,

then developing countries are prepared to make adjustments to their greenhouse

gas emissions - if they get adequate technical and financial backing.

It is this kind of architecture that SA wants to see being

incorporated in a new climate pact, Sonjica said.

There is more pressure on developing countries since China, the

world’s biggest carbon dioxide emitter, now also now has to comply with legally

binding greenhouse gas reductions.

It will put a lot of pressure on South Africa if China is required

to comply, as the European Union and America is demanding, said Sonjica.

At this stage fast developing countries are not required to comply

with binding goals for reductions.

For the past 150 years developed countries have benefited from

greenhouse gas emissions and must now give developing countries development

space, she said.

Like other African countries, SA believes that rich countries must

commit to larger targets on greenhouse gas reductions, technology transfer from

the West, and help with adaptations to counter the negative effects of climate

change, like extreme storms and rise sea levels.

It is also necessary for a long-term financial package for

developing countries to enable them to adjust to climate change and to change

over to clean technologies.

About $400 billion per year, will be needed by 2020 for this, said

Sonjica.

SA also stands by other African countries on the issue of an

altered Kyoto Protocol and that rich countries must accept comprehensive targets

for greenhouse gas reductions.


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