Event feedback: South Africa and the Durban COP17 NegotiationsOn 18 October, a panel of leading experts in the politics of climate change discussed the prospects for achieving a legally-binding climate deal at COP17 at a dialogue hosted by the IGD at the Burgers Park Hotel in Pretoria. The dialogue was intended to serve as a timely public forum for debating the goals and challenges for Africa’s climate negotiators at the upcoming UNFCCC COP17 in Durban. The dialogue, chaired by Prof. Geoff Pigman, research associate at the IGD and professor at Bennington College in the United States, featured inputs from Dr. Godwell Nhamo, Exxaro Chair in Business and Climate Change at UNISA, and Dr. Marie Parramon of Imbewu Sustainability Legal Specialists. Insights into the role of civil society in the negotiations were provided, as well as the opportunities for South Africa as hosts and also the potential legacy of the COP. After the perceived failures of COP15 in Copenhagen and COP16 in Cancún to address the substantive issues of a climate deal, the world is looking to Durban to ensure an equitable and effective agreement is reached, with the opportunity ripe at ‘Africa’s COP’ for South Africa’s negotiators to secure a deal that will benefit the entire developing world. It was agreed that the role of South Africa within this dynamic is critical: the Chair of the Conference needs to provide a deft hand at guiding talks to ensure a measureable outcome. Without effective leadership on the part of South Africa, the prospects of securing a legally-binding deal are greatly diminished.
Emerging Powers, Africa and
South Africa, Climate Change and
About the Programme
Environmental degradation and the frequency with which the effects of climate change are being felt are increasingly evident. Yet, while attention has been given to the science and economics of climate change, there has been limited engagement on the diplomacy...Read more...
- consider Africa’s strategic position in the international environmental regime;
- contribute to knowledge development and capacity...
In The News 12-05-2013South Africa: Steele - 'South Africa Should Do More to Curb Carbon Emissions'
A conference on climate change is underway in Berlin to discuss the need to cut on carbon emissions by developed countries. Despite Africa contributing little carbon emissions, it has suffered the consequences.
Carbon emissions could rise to 58 gigatonnes by 2020 if no drastic action is taken without delay, the United Nations environmental agency (UNEP) said in its Emissions Gap Report 2012. This figure is far above the level scientists say and it is in line with keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees Fahrenheit). DW spoke to Melita Steele, Climate Campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.
In The News 12-05-2013East Africa: Make-Believe Environmental Standards
Tanzania and some East African countries have established environmental standards. It is a good step towards creating a health environment in the East African Region. But it is difficult to believe that Tanzania implements any of the standards.
For example, who monitors the Air Quality Standards for Tanzania in Arusha? In particular, who monitors the presence of the poisonous metal called Lead? Does anybody monitors the presence of harmful quantities of sulfur oxides, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, suspended particulate matters or black smoke based on the limits of pollutant levels specified in the Air Quality Standards for Tanzania? Where are official reports on the status of the substances in the environment? You may ask.
In The News 12-05-20133 Encouraging Signs of Progress from the Bonn Climate Talks
A slight breath of fresh air entered the UNFCCC climate negotiations this week in Bonn, Germany. Held in the old German parliament—which was designed to demonstrate transparency and light—the meeting took on a more open feel than the past several COPs and intersessionals.
Instead of arguing over the agenda, negotiators got down to work, discussing ways to ramp up countries’ emissions-reduction commitments now and move toward a 2015 international climate action agreement. Reaching these two goals is imperative. It was encouraging to hear delegates make progress across three key issues involved in achieving them: