Africa seeks second Kyoto at COP 17

2011-12-08 12:25

Durban - The 54-nation African Group says its minimum expectation from the COP 17 climate change conference in Durban is a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol.

Briefing the media on Thursday, the negotiating bloc's chair, Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, said the group also wanted to see the Green Climate Fund up and running.

"The minimum expectation of the Africa Group is to leave here with a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol, one which has legally-binding dimensions, not merely political ones."

Referring to negotiations on the protocol, he said the African Group hoped it would be possible "to get to the bottom of the complicated, very sophisticated EU process that makes it impossible for them to go into a legally-binding second commitment period".

Listing some of the impediments raised by the EU, he suggested "African minds" were needed to sort these out.

Commitment period

"I believe that African minds should really try to get to the bottom of this very complicated EU ratification process, which, it seems, is beyond the comprehension of everybody else but Europeans," he said, to laughter from journalists.

Observers and some countries have raised doubts about the value of a second commitment period to the protocol that binds less than a third, and possibly less than a fifth, of global greenhouse gas emitters.

In a statement on Wednesday, Canada's environment minister, Peter Kent, said the protocol was past history for his country.

"The Kyoto Protocol is not where the solution lies. It is an agreement that covers fewer than 30% of global emissions," he said.

"We will not take on a second commitment period... Kyoto, for Canada, is in the past," he said.

Mpanu-Mpanu said the African Group also wanted to see the Green Climate Fund up and running before it left the conference.

"We want to leave here with a fund... but at this stage we don't even have a shell," Mpanu-Mpanu said.

Responding to a question on how he thought SA, as host nation, was dealing with negotiations, he said the country was involved in a balancing act.

"South Africa is doing a little bit of a balancing act... in its efforts to find consensus [between parties]."

It had disengaged from an active role in the African Group - of which the country is a member - because "they want to be in a position where they can show objectivity".

Mpanu-Mpanu raised a second round of chuckles from journalists when he referred to countries, which he did not name, that he said had a vested interest in seeing the conference not make any progress.

"We should send them to the corner of the classroom," he said.

  • Spiral - 2011-12-08 12:39

    I'd love to know how much these conferences are costing!? Comments like "We want to leave here with a fund" make me laugh...! for your new car Mr Minister?

      Kenny - 2011-12-08 13:03

      Typical africa ... I want...I want...I want, because da global warming she causes da aids and da hunga, bloody agent global warming

      Deon - 2011-12-08 13:04

      +-R40million was mentioned earlier, if I remember correctly.

      Larry - 2011-12-08 13:15

      WHy not? but have it in someplace like Mogadishu and see how many concerned ministers will show up?

  • Phumezo - 2011-12-08 12:42

    Africa has far more pressing issues to worry itself about than to be conserned about this psuedo-scientific nonsense of climate change that will only benefit the so called rich nation. Ever since we took control of our resources whether its coal or oil to better the lives of our people there have been counter resistance from these green groups who want us to use their products! Climate changes because it has to change and not because of green house emissions or carbon footprints! Even scientists or geologists cannot agree what is causing it! What we see hear in these talks are people who try to re-colonise Africa through dubious means! The sooner we pull a plug on this expensive jamboree of a talk shop the sooner we can focus on real issues affecting our people like the inequalities we see and a radical shift in economic policy to benefit those who were previously and still are marginalised!

      horan.mark - 2011-12-08 13:15

      I agree that with you in saying that these conferences are expensive talk shops, honestly I'm not convinced of the science behind it, however, this is not about COLONISATION, actually westerners like Africans, just want the best for themselves and for their fellow human beings, and most would like to see Africa stand on its own feet, because that would benefit everyone the most. STOP BLAMING THE WEST, REALLY!

  • Poloyatonki - 2011-12-08 12:58

    The money spent on this stupid conference, could have been use to uplift the poor instead of having world morons under one roof talking about a melting ice.

  • Peka - 2011-12-08 12:58


  • rbphiri - 2011-12-08 13:08

    The inevitable repeat of Copenhagen, all talks no action. Cop 17 to Cop infinity...Will a resolution ever be reached? I guess consensus is not an option. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other green house gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the earths climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produces many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth. This is just another fraudulent fund raiser.

  • horan.mark - 2011-12-08 13:10

    Who has a vested interest in not addressing climate change? Once again the politicians are leveraging a global topic to enhance the perceived divide between the rich and poor. If I remember correctly, 10 years or so ago, the developing world was saying almost the opposite: that the idea of global warming was used by the west to place limitations on developing countries. Realistically, the developing countries have a lot more work in order to green their economies, they may not have the large corporate industry, what they do have is extensive uncontrolled sources of pollution, such as burning rubbish, uncontrolled forestry, etc. and they have limited means of dealing with issues, and in many cases any goverment programmes developed are hampered by corruption. The west on the other hand has more capacity for the technological changes required to clean up production. Ask yourself, how many wind turbines, solar plants, hydropower schemes do you see in Europe vs Africa or India.

  • EyesEars - 2011-12-08 14:39

    All in the name of receiving money again. When will SA learn to stand on it's own two feet, without the influences of overseas investers and overseas monies. Geez! How pathetic do you people want to be?

  • ludlowdj - 2011-12-08 15:19

    The US, China and Canada will not sign a new agreement, any talk of signing to meet certain levels in 2020 is just that talk. Any agreement that does not include all players including the three mentioned is a waste of time and simply shifts the burden from countries producing most of the pollutant to the tax payers of the rest of the world

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