SA ‘will do its bit on climate’

2007-12-12 00:00

Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has pledged that South Africa will contribute its fair share towards the world’s common responsibility for climate change.

Speaking at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, yesterday, Van Schalkwyk vowed that South Africa’s actions will be “measurable, reportable and verifiable”.

Van Schalkyk refuted claims by some countries that SA will not come to a climate deal with developing countries.

“Let’s be clear on that: as a developing country, we will take ambitious mitigation action. Given the urgency indicated by science, there is no longer a plausible excuse for inaction by any country,” he said.

Van Schalkwyk said that, 12 years after the Kyoto Protocol was developed in 1995, the world is faced with the “alarming and overwhelming” scientific findings from the fourth assessment report relating to climate change.

“As in 1995, we now, once again, have to take control of our common future. As the leading policy-makers on the environment, our key task here in Bali is to take decisive action to give further concrete and substantial content to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

Responding to a call by European Commissioner for Environment Stavros Dimas that the representatives must set out an ambitious roadmap to start urgent negotiations on a global and comprehensive climate agreement for the post-2012 period, Van Schalkwyk agreed that the climate challenge is “urgent and global”.

He said that achieving climate stability in an equitable way requires individual nations to rise above short-term self interest for the long-term global public good.

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