Reaffirm Kyoto Protocol, Zuma urges

2011-11-28 14:02

Durban - President Jacob Zuma urged delegates at the UN climate summit on Monday to work for an outcome that was "balanced, fair and credible" and reaffirm the Kyoto Protocol.

"You have before you the responsibility to reaffirm the multilateral rules-based system undercut by the Kyoto Protocol," he said, speaking at the event’s opening ceremony in Durban.

He called on delegates to provide the funding needed by developing countries to address the impacts of climate change.

This could be achieved by activating the so-called Green Fund, the $100bn a year that developed counties have promised to provide by 2020.

Zuma said a key issue facing delegates had to do with a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, and "reaching agreement on the legal nature of a future climate change system".

Late opening

The summit opened late in Durban on Monday morning to the sound of drums.

A group of bare-chested men in red kikois entertained delegates with some high-kicking, hard-stomping Zulu dance moves as they waited patiently for the opening ceremony to commence.

Ten minutes after the scheduled 10:00 start time and with many delegates still streaming into the venue, an official called on them to rise for the entry of Zuma. Then he told them to sit down.

"I’ve just been informed the president is arriving later. Please be seated."

A little later, he announced: "I hope they’re not stuck in a holding room and no-one can find the locksmith!"

Delegates, officials and journalists waited a further half hour before Zuma arrived and the opening finally got underway at 10:41.

One of its first decisions was confirming the election of South African International Relations and Co-operation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, as COP 17 president.

'Mammoth task'

Nkoana-Mashabane told delegates that a "mammoth task" lay ahead of them.

"We are in Durban with one purpose - that is to secure a future for generations to come."

Referring to a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, she warned that if this question was not resolved, "the outcome of other matters in the negotiations will become extremely difficult".

The summit, which ends on December 9, is aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep any rise in global average temperature to below two degrees Celsius to prevent catastrophic climate change later this century.

Zuma warned that Africa was especially vulnerable to climate change. This was not just because of extreme events such as droughts and floods, but also due to poverty, "which limits the ability of countries to cope with climate change".

There was also the threat of food shortages, he said.

- What do you think are the most important issues that should be tackled at COP 17? Are you in Durban? Publish YOUR thoughts

  • Deon - 2011-11-28 14:42

    You are now in Africa: 40 minutes late and we want money to go green.

      rbphiri - 2011-11-28 14:54

      That 40 minutes will translate to 40 years of waiting for capital to fund this green initiative.

  • Craig - 2011-11-28 14:46

    It's a good thing we have the blue light brigades!!! Proof that we should rid them of our roads so we can ALL be a little safer! If it's not that, then as any other human on the planet, JZ should exercise TIME MANAGEMENT!

  • elias.tabane - 2011-11-28 14:48

    is it for the first time the world expirience climate change? I think this issue is taken out of propotion.. the next think it will be carbon tax....

  • Mike - 2011-11-28 14:49

    Astonishing that the President of the country hosting the event keeps international dignitaries and delegates waiting for 40 minutes. Welcome to Africa! Kyoto will not be signed as long as the super powers US, UK and China will not agree. So what is the point of this entire conference; a quick vacation in Africa; with loads of talk, celebration and no action - and a massive carbon footprint for flying half way around the world!

      rbphiri - 2011-11-28 14:52

      Talk about African time.

  • Wesley - 2011-11-28 14:51

    aaaye..... this ninja turtle!

  • rbphiri - 2011-11-28 15:04

    The Kyoto Protocol Policy also has its fair share of disadvantages, because the measures to limit future greenhouse gas emissions will re-direct resources within the economy towards emissions limiting or emissions absorbing activities, which is likely to result in adjustment costs within the economy. Under some scenarios, these could be significant enough to negatively influence GNI and GDP. But on the other hand it will contribute to reducing the long-term risks of climate change for countries that have a climate-dependent economy and ecosystems. But the most important aspect here is that the countries at this climate conference need to translate their talks into action.

  • aardvarkie - 2011-11-28 15:18

    Lots of talk about "funding" but not what the funds are for and how they will be spent, or who will be responsible. Lots of entertainment and bucks to be made from tourists, but no mention of the actual steps taking place and how they will be implemented. I don't see any value in COP17, just money being spent and nothing productive or constructive from it. I also object to the word "Carbon" been thrown about like it's evil, plants release Carbon Dioxide at night, we are Carbon based life forms. How about you get rid of Mac Donalds, they're one of the biggest contributors to destruction of rain forests... etc etc I could go on.

  • giuseppe.bonaccorsi - 2011-11-28 16:12

    Climate change cannot be changed. Climate control claimed by humans is ad minimum not possible apart the fact that all data used to try to prove it are error contaminated since observing stations around the world have not the same geoenvironment as well they have different local microclime which from the other side it depends from different rock exposures, altitude, presence of rivers, sea an so on. Conclusion: All "collected DATA" have a posting error or, let say "a birth mark". Durban congress as such will contribute only to direct the money to a wrong direction. Petty!

  • Archie - 2011-11-28 16:49

    the only beneficiaries for this protocol will be the high class working girls. The pres, should have been 10 min early for such an occasion .What happened ? blue light brigade out to early lunch!

  • CarlS - 2011-11-29 09:25

    Zumatello was late because he had a problem tying his shoelaces? Atleast more internationals caught a glimpse at this fool. Seeing his speech I bet there were copious amounts of "WTF"-faces in the room.

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