'Take climate change seriously'

2009-09-08 18:05

Johannesburg - Government has to be urged to take climate change more seriously, former environment minister Valli Moosa said on Tuesday.

"They have the responsibility to take decisions that will impact not just a future generation, but.... even this generation," he said.

Moosa has been selected as one of four climate champions by the World Wildlife Fund for nature (WWF).

The others are businessmen Cyril Ramaphosa, former university of Cape Town Vice Chancellor, Doctor Mamphela Ramphele and Nedbank Chief Executive Officer Tom Boardman.

"These are people who we believe can stand up and be heard by everybody...," said WWF South Africa Chief Executive Officer Morné Du Plessis.

"It is important for the WWF to have the support of people who can step up and say things in a way that hasn't been said before."

Du Plessis said the four had been selected with a view to moulding South Africa's submissions at the Global Climate meeting being held in Copenhagen in December.

"It is a meeting at which international political leadership need to agree on a fair and effective new climate deal to keep global warming as far as possible below 2ºC," the WWF said.

Copenhagen was a historical opportunity to avert a major disaster bigger even than the global economic crisis, said Boardman.

His focus was on encouraging the 192 government meeting in Copenhagen to recognise the need to financially reward African countries for not destroying the rain forests.

Du Plessis said not enough could be done to impress the gravity of global warming on the world.