Zuma calls for equitable climate deal
Pretoria - A climate change deal excluding finance, technology and capacity-building will not be equitable, President Jacob Zuma said in Pretoria on Friday.
"The principle of equity must be addressed in the context of sustainable development," he told 21 environment ministers, accompanied by negotiators and delegates from 43 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change member states.
South Africa will host an international climate change conference in Durban later this year.
Zuma said climate change was the most pressing sustainable development challenge.
There would be two rounds of formal negotiations before the UN climate change conference in Durban.
Zuma called for an ambitious outcome, saying any less would not address the urgent needs of those affected by climate change. The African continent was particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, he said.
"The conference in Durban presents us with an opportunity to shape the future global response to climate change."
Friday's informal ministerial gathering and consultations were aimed at facilitating agreement in areas where divergent opinions were holding back consensus.
Zuma urged ministers and negotiators to approach all ideas and options with open minds.
"I understand that various parties have put forward options for a way forward.
"We are therefore not without answers. Many answers seem to be available and what is now essential is to find a middle [road] that will lead us to a credible outcome."