Plans of encouragement to the largest greenhouse gas emitters to commit to high reduction levels in emissions and the South African Government’s intention to facilitate the sheltering of the vulnerable of the continent and world from the harsh consequences of global warming

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 5 (NO272E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO: 1-2013 OF 6 MARCH 2013

MRS W S NEWHOUDT-DRUCHEN (ANC) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

How does (a) she intend to encourage the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters to commit to high reduction levels in emissions and (b) the Government intend to facilitate the sheltering of the vulnerable of the (i) continent and (ii) world from the harsh consequences of global warming?

REPLY:

(a) When South Africa hosted the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP17/CMP7) in Durban in November/December 2011 in Durban, as President of the conference we succeeded in facilitating agreement inter alia to launch a process to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties. These negotiations must be concluded by 2015 and the future agreement must be implemented from 2020. This was a watershed decision of the Parties to the UNFCCC, since it paves the way for all Parties, including the two largest emitters, namely the United States and China, to come under the same international legal regime. In addition the Durban outcome makes provision for a process to enhance the level of ambition.

During 2012 in the run up to COP18/CMP8 which took place in Doha, Qatar, South Africa continued in its role as President of the COP/CMP, using the formal negotiating sessions and by hosting an informal Ministerial meeting, to build consensus on a plan of work for the negotiations on the future legal instrument. A plan of work was duly adopted at COP18/CMP8.

South Africa will continue to work within the multilateral processes under the UNFCCC to ensure that ambition, particularly by developed countries, is raised – both with respect to mitigation and the provision of finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building – and that the negotiations on the future legal instrument is concluded on time. Since climate change is a global challenge, only multilaterally agreed solutions will have the support and legitimacy required to be effective.

(b) At COP18/CMP8, Parties approved a three year work programme for the UNFCCC’s Adaptation Committee. The conference further decided that the Adaptation Committee should establish an annual adaptation forum during the COPs to raise awareness and ambition with regard to adaptation. In addition, Parties agreed to establish at COP19 institutional arrangements, such as an international mechanism, to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including impacts related to extreme weather events and slow onset events in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

South Africa will continue to participate in the negotiations on adaptation and loss and damage and use all opportunities to argue for equal priority for adaptation and mitigation, as well as the provision by developed countries of the necessary means of implementation.

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