|South African Ministers Outline Priorities for Durban
|2 August 2011
2 August 2011: In a press briefing, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa and incoming President of the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC, together with South African Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, described South Africa's preparations to ensure it hosts an international event that meets UN requirements as well as their priorities for the Durban Climate Change Conference.
Nkoana-Mashabane addressed South Africa's state of readiness to host the conference and unveiled the COP 17 logo and theme, "Working together: Saving tomorrow today." She underlined that her Government has been working closely with Mexico in its capacity as current COP President. She explained that South Africa has undertaken informal consultations at all levels to "facilitate a credible outcome that is equitable, fair and inclusive," underlining the importance of the party-driven principle. Nkoana-Mashabane listed the events she will host or organize, including: with Mexico, a Leaders' Dialogue on Climate Change on the margins of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA); a negotiator-level meeting and an informal ministerial meeting in September 2011, in South Africa; a stakeholder meeting on 5 September; and a "Pre-COP" Informal Ministerial Consultation on 20-21 October 2011, in South Africa. She stressed the need for ministers to focus on finance, means of implementation and the other outstanding political issues. She concluded by providing an update on the state of readiness for the Conference, describing the communication plan as well as issues related to accommodation, the venue, transport, visas and security.
preparations to ensure it hosts an international event that meets UN requirements as well as their priorities for the Durban Climate Change Conference.
Also addressing the press conference, Molewa stressed the need for COP 17 to "at least" put in place the "necessary building blocks to deliver a balanced agreement that takes historical responsibilities into account." She indicated her Government's commitment to develop a common African position in the negotiations, underlining that Africa is the continent most affected by climate change. She outlined the following priorities for Durban, as identified at the AU Summit: maintaining the integrity of the multilateral process; determining the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and a comparable emission reduction regime for non-Kyoto Parties; affording a central place to adaptation; and focusing on finance discussions, particularly the design of the Green Climate Fund.
Molewa further underscored that the Committee of Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) reiterated the role of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in coordinating climate change issues in Africa, highlighting the upcoming meeting of these ministers on 15-16 September 2011, in Bamako, Mali, to consider the Africa Common Position. COP 17 and the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (COP/MOP 7) to the Kyoto Protocol will take place in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November-9 December 2011.
Remarks by the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Minister Edna Molewa on the occasion of a media briefing on COP17/CMP7
2 Aug 2011
Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane,
Members of the Media,
South Africa looks forward to participate in the next 17th meeting of the Climate Change negotiations or Conference of Parties (COP17/CMP7) in Durban between 28 November 2011 and 9 December 2011.
As communicated by Cabinet earlier this year, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs is entrusted with the responsibility of leading South African delegation in pursuing the country's interest at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COP 17/CMP 7 negotiations.
The work of the South African delegation therefore is focusing on the three key priorities in the build-up to the COP at the end of this year:
Ladies and gentlemen, as part of the public awareness and outreach programme, we have already finalised our programme of action to assist our efforts to ensure we visit all our provinces as we had communicated during our April stakeholder engagement in Midrand. Your media packs will have a document that maps out our provincial summits in collaboration with various provincial governments.
- The development, compilation, approval and lobbying of the South African COP17 negotiating position that will be taken for approval by Cabinet in October this year;
- The coordination and implementation of projects that reduce or offset the impacts of COP17 and projects that leave a lasting COP17 legacy - COP17 Greening and Legacy Projects; and
- The Public Climate Change Outreach and Mobilisation Programme that is aimed at ensuring that as we approach the COP, we engage widely with all South Africans to ensure that the message of Climate Change is well understood by our various communities.
If there is any legacy we can bestow on our people from this conference is the power of knowledge. Knowledge not only in understanding what climate change and how each and every one of us can contribute, but in knowing that decisions we make today determine the heritage of future generations. Other departments are also engaging their stakeholders and ensuring that participation at the conference indeed represents the grassroots.
Ladies and gentlemen, when we made a call in April for a Team South Africa approach to the conference, the response we received from other government departments has been encouraging. The brief was simple, let us showcase climate response activities we are doing as a country, and let us coordinate our stakeholders to effectively participate in this African CoP.
I am pleased to share with you that several exciting projects have been put forward, ranging from natural resource management, energy, transportation systems, science and technology to agricultural case studies and social mobilisation. The support we received from business and other agencies have been encouraging and really appreciate the support provided.
Ladies and gentlemen, climate change is one of the greatest threats to sustainable development and demands that Durban at least puts in place necessary building blocks to deliver a balanced agreement that takes historical responsibilities into account. The fact that the International Energy Agency cited 2010 as the year with the highest recorded emissions demonstrates the urgency with which the world has to deal with climate change.
South Africa is committed to develop unity of the African Group and a Common African Position in the negotiations. In view of the fact that Africa is the continent most affected by Climate Change, it is important that Africa continues to speak with one voice; hence we have hosted a series of preparatory meetings by the African Group Negotiators, with the last meeting going to be held in Durban from 8 to 10 of August.
Ladies and gentlemen, in the Malabo African Union Summit I referred to, our Heads of State and Government identified some priorities having assessed that the Durban conference will be a step towards a fair global regime on climate, rather than conclude a comprehensive agreement. The priorities were identified as,
Ladies and gentlemen, for South Africa, taking meaningful climate action is about seizing the opportunity - to build international competitiveness, new economic infrastructure, sectors and activity; create prosperity and jobs; transform the economy and society; reduce poverty; improve health and quality of life for all. The development strides achieved by the African continent in the last decade or so are at risk from the effects of climate change, and a global response presents an opportunity for Africa to further it sustainable development objectives.
- firstly maintaining the integrity of the multilateral process by operationalising both unresolved issues from Bali in 2007, as well as the progress made in Cancun last year
- secondly, protection of the environment for future generations, hence a determination on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and a comparable emission reduction regime for non-Kyoto Parties
- thirdly, adaptation should be at the center of the deal by ensuring that there is a process for concrete implementation of adaptation activities and noting that adaptation needs and costs depend on emission reduction ambition
- fourthly, finance discussions should be an area of focus within the negotiations, particularly the design of the Green Climate Fund
- lastly, theCommittee of Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) reiterated the role of African Ministerial Conference on the Environment in coordinating climate change issues in Africa, and these Ministers will meet on 15 to 16 September in Bamako, Mali, to consider the Africa Common Position.
South Africa will implement nationally appropriate mitigation actions which result in the reduction of emissions by 34% relative to our Business as Usual trajectory by 2020 and by 42% in 2025. The extent to which this commitment is achieved depends on the provision of finance, technology and capacity building support by developed countries and through the United Nations climate change regime.
South Africa will further work on understanding the vulnerabilities of country and people from the effects of climate change, which are predicted to be in the order of 1 to 2 degrees celsius by 2050 in coastal areas and 2 to 3 degrees Celsius inland. We will continue to look at opportunities of climate proofing our people, our economy and our natural resources.
The imminent Climate Change Response paper is the platform for outlining the country's leadership in a response to climate change, and I look forward to another briefing of his nature where we can deal with those aspects.
I thank you!
Issued by: Department of Water Affairs
2 Aug 2011
Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on South Africa's level of preparedness on COP17/CMP7 scheduled for November - December 2011 in Durban, RSA.
Members of the Media,
Today marks exactly 117 DAYS before the start of the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol in Durban from 28 November - 9 December 2011.
Today also marks the second day of the visit by the UNFCCC team to Durban to discuss with us our country and the City of Durban's state of readiness in hosting this critical climate change conference. We are working closely with the UN to ensure that South Africa hosts an international event which meets UN requirements.
This morning we had a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on COP17. The IMC was established to oversee government's preparations for COP17/CMP7. The meeting today looked at our state of readiness at various levels.
With just less than four months to go, we can proudly say that South Africa is ready to host UN climate change conference. We are equally very excited in unveiling the COP17/CMP7 theme and logo today.
THE PROCESS, NEGOTIATIONS, CHALLENGES and EXPECTED OUTCOMES
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has been part of the Climate Change negotiations even before the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997. We are therefore quite familiar with the history and dynamics of this complex process, as well as the substance.
It is also important for us to confirm that in our preparations for Durban, we have been working closely with Mexico in its capacity as current COP President.
The recent expression of unease with progress in the media has become part and parcel of the larger negotiating environment and happened also with previous COPs/CMPs held in various parts of the world. The fact that South Africa, a developing country, will host COP17/CMP7, demonstrates that we are taking seriously our responsibility to do what we can to address this global threat.
Starting in Bangkok, South Africa as incoming COP President has been undertaking informal consultations at ministerial, negotiators and stakeholders level to facilitate a credible outcome that is equitable, fair and inclusive. The party-driven principle has been emphasized in numerous occasions and therefore South Africa as incoming COP President cannot be expected to drive the process on its own and prescribe the outcomes of the negotiations.
In order to achieve a balanced outcome, South Africa will inter alia require the operationalisation of the Cancun Agreements as well as commitment to deal with unfinished business from the Bali Roadmap and Action Plan.
Durban is clearly the end of the line for the postponement of key political issues.
We have every intention to utilize, in an inclusive and transparent way, all opportunities to advance the COP17/CMP7 process to ensure that Durban is a success. In this regard, together with Mexico we are arranging a Leaders' Dialogue on Climate Change on the margins of UNGA66 to get guidance from Heads of State and Governments.
As incoming COP President I am planning to host, amongst others:
The intention is for Ministers to focus on finance, means of implementation and the other outstanding political issues.
- an informal Ministerial Meeting on 8 and 9 September 2011 here in South Africa;
- preceded by a Negotiators-Level Meeting on 6 and 7 September 2011;
- stakeholders' meeting on 5 September; and I will also host the
- traditional "Pre-COP" Informal Ministerial Consultation on 20-21 October 2011, again in South Africa.
The aim of the informal meetings is, amongst others:
Outcomes of these meetings will feed into the upcoming formal negotiating process.
- to get clarity on concepts and assumptions, as well as
- provide political guidance for the negotiations.
Let me end with a brief update on the state of readiness for this conference.
A. General State of Readiness
A.1 COMMUNICATION PLAN
- Communication Plan
- Accommodation arrangements
- Transport arrangements
- Visa procedures
- Safety and Security arrangements
An extensive media plan involving television, radio, print and outdoor advertisements are in the process of being rolled-out.
- RADIO & TV, PRINT & OUTDOOR: The campaign on the process leading to and during the Conference will be rolled out on local and international platforms
- Social Networks (Tweeter and Facebook): interaction on COP17/CMP7 countdown will be starting soon on the most popular social networks;
- We will be engaging Parliament to have special session on COP17/CMP7 and ensure that we have the COP17/CMP7 logo in the corridors of Parliament and Provincial legislatures; and Engagements have started with other stakeholders - such as Government departments, Organized Business, Civil Society including NGO's, Youth & Academia.
- Multimedia Awareness campaign on climate change: This commenced last month (July 2011) with the print media.
- Key Events: we will also be targeting key events to popularize the Conference, for example we will use the next SADC Summit in Angola; the Water Week; transport month, the BASIC Climate Change Meeting; all Provincial Summits; etc.
- WEBSITE: The COP17/CMP7 website address is www.cop17/cmp7durban.com. There will be a French link
- Logo: The official logo of the Conference has been finalized. A big element of the logo is the resilient Baobab tree. Baobabs are very difficult to kill. They can be burnt, or stripped of their bark, and they will just form new bark and carry on growing. According to native legends along the Zambezi, the tribes believed that when the world was young the Baobabs were upright and proud. However for some unknown reason, they lorded over the lesser growths. The gods became angry and uprooted the Baobabs, thrusting them back into the ground, root upwards. The globe in the logo has an eroded look indicative to the urgent need for a positive outcome by COP17/CMP7.
- Core Theme: The core theme of the Conference is 'Working together: Saving tomorrow today'. This theme not only links with government theme of 'Working together, we can do more' but it emphasises that a positive climate outcome is not only the responsibility of South Africa but all other Parties to the UNFCCC. The second part of the theme links with the core message of Indalo Yethu - 'Save Tomorrow Today'. Indalo Yethu is a World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) legacy project. It functions as an endorsement brand promoting greening and eco-friendly practices as a way of life.
A.2 ACCOMMODATION: Bookings for some delegations already done; eThekwini Municipality has approximately 20 000 Beds within a 50km radius / 1 hour drive;
At this stage, 2662 Hotel rooms already booked and paid for.
A.3. VENUE: the Durban Nkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre and the Durban Exhibition Centre as identified as the venue for the conference.
A.4 TRANSPORT: It is very clear that there will be an increased demand for air and ground transport from OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) to Durban as well as within the city of Durban itself. Arrangements for increased capacity required are at an advanced stage and includes the following:
Possible sponsorships are being considered for the transport requirements for the Heads of States/G and delegates.
- Increased airline capacity between ORTIA and KSIA
- Shuttle Services from KSIA to Hotels
- Shuttle Services from Hotels to Venue
- Increased transport capacity including Minibus taxis and buses in Durban
- Procurement of 2000 bicycles
- Indentified pedestrian paths in Durban
- Special vehicles / arrangements for HOS/G
A.5 INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT): DIRCO has engaged with UNFCCC and verified all ICT requirements; a High level Project Plan has been developed and is being implemented;
A.6 VISA PROCESSES: It is expected that approximately 20 000 people will travel to South Africa to attend the Conference or to participate in various activities. There will be free-Visa entry for UNFCCC accredited attendees. All other observers and/or delegates will follow normal visa procedures. With OR Tambo International being the major port of entry, dedicated COP17/CMP7 lanes have been agreed with together with ACSA. Plans are in place to manage the increased capacity at ORTIA, KSIA, Waterkloof Airport as well as Durban Harbour. Increased Home Affairs Capacity has also been confirmed.
A.7 SAFETY AND SECURITY: Priority Committees for COP 17/CMP7 at National and Provincial level has been established. Threat assessment is being conducted and will be reviewed / updated on a continuous basis.
I thank you all.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
02 August 2011