Durban Summit progress not inspiring

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 10 Aug 2011

The UN and the South African government are trying to alleviate concerns about the forthcoming Durban Climate Change Summit, after accusations of a “turf war” between the two departments organising the crucial meeting.

Around 15,000 people are expected to participate in the summit

Speaking to reporters late last week, UN conference coordinator Salwa Dallalah told reporters in Durban that preparations for the COP 17 summit remained on schedule. “We are moving very well and are on target,” she said. “We will finish our work soon.”

Her comments follow weeks of speculation among diplomats and green groups that preparations for the talks were not moving fast enough.

Privately some negotiators at the most recent round of UN talks in Bonn in June said the South African government was failing to lay the diplomatic ground work adequately for the crucial meeting, contrasting the preparations for Durban unfavourably with the work undertaken by the Mexican government ahead of last year’s Cancun Summit.

The recent rumours culminated last week in a report in the local Mail & Guardian newspaper, citing South African government sources frustrated by the turf war between the department of environmental affairs (DEA) and the department of international relations and co-operation (Dirco) over who should take responsibility for the summit.

“It’s a mess,” the anonymous source told the paper. “The ministers are fighting, and we don’t even have a website. We are not communicating enough.” Continue reading