Make the right choice, SA urges climate conference

2010-12-10 14:44

With less than 12 hours to go before the end of the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, SA Environment Minister Edna Molewa told delegates today she was confident they would make the “right choice”.

In a national statement delivered at the event, she also warned they dare not delay.

“We must leave Cancun having agreed on over-arching decisions on the legal form of the eventual outcome of negotiations under the convention [the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change] and the continued negotiation of a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.

“We must decide here in Cancun that the Kyoto Protocol has a future. We dare not delay,” Molewa said.

The conference, which started on November 29, ends today.

Reports from the event – aimed at securing a new global agreement on climate change – suggest countries such as Japan, Russia and Canada remain adamant they will not support future cuts in carbon emissions.

Molewa called on developed countries to “take the lead with ambitious, binding and absolute emission reduction commitments”.

She further noted that South Africa’s efforts to mitigate climate change, including the development of new green technology such as solar and wind energy, needed technological and financial support “in the order of billions of dollars”.

Molewa said the Cancun conference had to lay a firm foundation, and provide the building blocks, for a multi-laterally agreed climate change regime that was fair, inclusive and effective, and kept any rise in world temperature below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

“My delegation would like to see a success here in Cancun, that provides a firm foundation of further work to take place in Durban next year,” she said. 

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