South Africa will beef up its climate policy to ensure that all government departments responded well to the issue of climate change.
While details were still sketchy on how this would be done, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa on Tuesday said it was important that departments had a “common” strategy on how to help South Africa respond to global warming, which threatened development in poor countries.
“It is very important that as we host the Climate Change Conference in Durban, that we as a country start to demonstrated that we are serious about climate change and willing to take the issue forward in terms of policy,” Molewa said at a media briefing on Tuesday.
She confirmed that up to 194 participants from different countries will form part of the climate talks scheduled to take place from 28 November – 9 December.
Molewa said South Africa will also be using its position as a host to push for the implementation of several crucial political decisions that were taken at the Cancun round of talks last year. These included finance packages for poor countries and the extension or renewal of the Kyoto Protocoli that binds nations to measurable carbon emissions reduction.
A new climate green fund — which Minister in The Presidency: National Planning Commission, Trevor Manuel, co-chairs — was agreed upon at Cancun to transfer money from the developed to developing countries to tackle the impacts of global warming, but no figure was put on how much money will go into it.
“We believe that Durban should be the place where we do something about all those decisions …on what to do with Kyoto and issues of adaptation, technology transfer and mitigation,” Molewa said.
The South African government, meanwhile, will be hosting a series of events during the build-up to the conference to get its people involved and educated about climate change. Campaigns will include educational road shows and community meetings in all the nine provinces in the coming weeks.
Officials had been holding talks with African ministers in order to present a united front at the international meeting. – BuaNews