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

South Africa wants Kyoto Protocol extended

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.

Durban cannot be the death of the Kyoto Protocol

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. Continue reading

UNFCCC receives list of government climate pledges

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems
04 February 2010

Following the conclusion of the climate change talks in Copenhagen, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has received submissions of national pledges to cut and limit greenhouse gases by 2020 from 55 countries. These countries together account for 78 per cent of global emissions from energy use.

“This represents an important invigoration of the UN climate change talks under the two tracks of Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.

“The commitment to confront climate change at the highest level is beyond doubt. These pledges have been formally communicated to the UNFCCC. Greater ambition is required to meet the scale of the challenge. But I see these pledges as clear signals of willingness to move negotiations towards a successful conclusion”, he said.

Industrialised countries listed their mid-term targets to cut emissions: http://unfccc.int/home/items/5264.php

Developing countries communicated information on their nationally appropriate mitigation actions: http://unfccc.int/home/items/5265.php

The next round of formal negotiations is scheduled to be in Bonn, Germany, at the end of May 2010. Several countries have indicated their wish to see a quick return to the negotiations with more meetings than the scheduled sessions. “We are seeking further guidance from governments,” de Boer added.

The secretariat will continue to maintain and update the lists on its website.

Source: UNFCCC