Negotiators need mature approach to pertinent issues

2011-10-15 15:21

As parties prepare to meet in Durban, they need to approach this year’s negotiations with an element of maturity regarding pertinent political issues such as the future of the Kyoto Protocol.

In order to generate the requisite momentum towards an acceptable outcome in Durban, I have had high-level consultations with local and international stakeholders, including recent meetings with the ad hoc working groups of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Panama City, Panama.

I am confident that we will be able to deliver a fair, credible and balanced outcome, which is in the main interest of all parties.

There is a compelling need to harness the knowledge garnered in our hosting of COP17/CMP7 and share it with our various communities.

Most importantly, we need to impress on all our communities the threat climate change poses to our world, and articulate the need to adapt and mitigate the ill effects of climate change in our country.

From the consultations that I’ve held with various stakeholders, I hear parties to be saying Durban must deal with three key issues.

There is consensus on the position that the Cancun Agreements must be operationalised, including the establishment of the key mechanisms and institutional arrangements agreed to in Cancun.

Here the Green Climate Fund represents a centrepiece of a broader set of outcomes for Durban. Developing countries demand a prompt start for the fund through early capitalisation. For Durban to be successful, we have to do more than make the Cancun Agreements operational.

We have no option but to deal with the 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.

Adaptation is an essential element of the outcome in Durban as it is a key priority for many developing countries.

The current fragmented approach to adaptation must be addressed in a more coherent manner and give equal priority to adaptation and mitigation.

» Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is the minister of international relations and co-operation

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