Zuma calls for credible COP17 outcome

2011-11-21 09:05

The outcome of the upcoming United Nations climate change conference, the 17th Conference of Parties (Cop17), should be balanced, fair and credible, President Jacob Zuma said today.

“Parties must come to Durban expecting a credible, sustainable and implementable outcome. It cannot be business as usual,” Zuma said during The New Age business breakfast in Durban.

Cop17 will begin at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre next Monday and finish on December 9.

“To achieve this outcome, the conference approach must be informed by the basic principles that underpin the UN climate change negotiations,” said Zuma.

He said these principles should include multilateralism, environmental integrity, fairness and the honouring of all international commitments and undertakings made in the climate change process.

“The Cancun Agreements must be operationalised. The Green Climate Fund represents a centre piece for a broader set of outcomes for Durban,” he said.

Zuma said developing countries demanded a prompt start for the fund through its initial capitalisation.

Cop17 would also be successful if parties dealt with outstanding political issues remaining from the Bali Roadmap.

“This means finding a resolution to the issue of the Second Commitment Period under the Kyoto Protocol, and agreeing on the legal nature of a future climate change system,” he said.

Zuma said the government had done everything possible to ensure that delegates were able to undertake their business smoothly and efficiently.

He said the South African delegation would approach the talks in a spirit of open consultation.

Zuma also called on South African businesspeople to make their inputs on the National Development Plan, recently launched by Planning Minister Trevor Manuel.

He said the government wanted people to have the skills to improve their lives.

“They should be empowered to develop themselves. For example, the state would need to move from building houses to creating the possibility for people to build their own houses.”

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