Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 23 April 2011
South Africa, which will host the next round of United Nations (UN) climate change talks in Durban in November, said on Wednesday that the Kyoto Protocol should be extended.
South African environment minister Edna Molewa told the media at the South African parliament in Cape Town that South Africa does not want the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be the end of the Kyoto Protocol.
The South African government views continuation of the protocol as critical, the South African Press Association (SAPA) reported her as saying.
The Kyoto Protocol is a 1997 international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The first commitment period of the agreement expires in 2012.
COP17 aims to build on agreements reached during COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico. It also hopes to establish a new global climate change regime.
“That period is quite critical for all of us, because in the Kyoto Protocol we carry the rules of operations, the rules of agreement, and none of us would like to lose those rules of operation,” Molewa said.
Molewa said there are very serious ongoing discussions with other countries.
However, some developed countries did not want to get into the second commitment of the Kyoto Protocol.
“We are negotiating, we are pushing hard. We believe that this is an area that we can’t leave unattended, and something’s got to come out of Durban, without having Durban being the death of the Kyoto Protocol, because that we wouldn’t want to happen,” she said.
South Africa also feels there must be a distinction between developed and emerging economies.
Molewa said emerging economies must be given the space and time to develop.
The minister also said South Africa will push harder to increase action by countries on controlling their carbon emissions.
Other issues that had “fallen through the cracks”, including carbon “equity” and the two-track commitment to actions, would also be pursued, she said.