Minister Creecy appointed to co-facilitate discussions at a political level amongst ministers responsible for climate change ahead of the Global Stocktake (GST)
20 July 2023
South Africa’s Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, and her counterpart from Denmark, Minister Dan Jørgensen, have been requested by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in its capacity as COP28 Presidency-designate, to co-facilitate discussions at a political level amongst ministers responsible for climate change ahead of the Global Stocktake (GST) discussions.
Minister Creecy is honoured to accept this important and challenging assignment from the President-designate for COP28. It is a recognition of South Africa’s important role in the progressive development of the multilateral process for addressing climate change, from South Africa’s instrumental role in securing the adoption of the Paris Agreement to its current role in support of the implementation phase of the agreement.
This co-facilitation role entails reaching out and listening to a representative sample of parties, groups and constituencies to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to hear their views on what they consider the critical elements of the outcomes of the GST.
The ministers will report back their findings to the UAE ahead of the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2023, where the UAE intends to convene a ministerial meeting on the GST. As such, the co-facilitation is intended to support the UAE in its efforts to guide the international community towards a successful outcome to the GST at COP28.
The Global Stocktake is the main mechanism under the UNFCCC’s Paris Agreement to take stock of the collective challenges and opportunities in implementing the Paris Agreement. The purpose of this is to help inform parties in preparing their next nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement to raise ambition and accelerate climate action, as well as to enhance international cooperation.
This is to ensure that the stocktaking exercise and the forward-looking set of recommendations to parties to be adopted at COP28 is comprehensive, covering all aspects of the convention and the global goals in the Paris Agreement, such as mitigation, adaptation and enabling means of implementation and support for developing countries. This work needs to be based on the best available science and equity, so that it is evidence based and fair because countries are at very different levels of development and have divergent national circumstances.
The first Global Stocktake is a critical moment in the multilateral process because it provides an opportunity to reflect both on the collective achievements made under the historic Paris Agreement, as well as to agree on course corrections to bring the international community on course to fully meet the global goals.
The best available science, backed up by the on-the-ground realities in all parts of the world, clearly show that transformational change is required to address climate change, in the context of sustainable development and just transitions.
The GST is the key moment for such strategic level discussions. Its value lies in its facilitative, non-punitive and collective nature, because the focus is on stocktaking and setting the direction for enhanced climate action at the collective level as an international community, where all stakeholders need to work together to address a common threat.
This appointment does not have consequences for South Africa’s country role in the climate negotiations. Our country will develop our negotiating mandate for consideration by Cabinet by the third quarter this year. This mandate will then inform our country position in the negotiations and our discussions with fellow negotiators in the African Group and the G77 plus China.
Mr Peter Mbelengwa
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