No shortcuts in fight against global warming

2009-09-16 11:31

SOUTH Africa’s clean energy initiatives will only start having an

impact around 2025, Minister of Environmental Affairs Buyelwa Sonjica said on


At a press conference in Johannesburg, Sonjica said the country was

committed to taking responsible action to reduce emissions.

“We’ll structurally transform the economy by shifting from an

energy-intensive to a climate-friendly path as part of a pro-growth,

pro-development and pro-jobs strategy,” she said.

Sonjica admitted that South Africa had an energy supply problem

because of its over-reliance on coal.

Global climate change talks were due to continue in Copenhagen,

Denmark in December.

South Africa, which would be part of an African Union delegation,

insisted that developing countries should not be set emission reduction


“Developed countries have a historical responsibility to set

targets,” Sonjica said.

She said developing countries also required finances for their

plans to fight climate change but needed different conditions from those set by

global financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.

The minister said although South Africa was part of the AU, all

negotiators were pursuing national interests.

“South Africa is not at a point of compromising,” Sonjica


Deputy director-general for environmental quality and protection

Joanne Yawitch was more optimistic.

“It’s still possible to reach an agreement that we can all be

pleased with,” said Yawitch.

The current negotiations are for the period after 2012, when the

Kyoto Protocol lapses.

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