South Africa participates in CoP23 international climate change talks in Bonn, Germany

10 November 2017

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, will lead the South African delegation to the 23rd United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (CoP23)  held in Bonn, Germany.

The 23rdConference of the Parties (COP23) to the  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) started its meeting in Bonn on the 6th November under the Presidency of Fiji, with the High Level Segment scheduled for 15 - 17 November 2016.

The CoP23 is expected to advance work on the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement. This guideline has to be concluded in time to enable COP 24 to take key decisions that will enable timeous commencement of post 2020 actions to be implemented.

The CoP23 is also expected to discuss among others, Loss & Damage due to climate change, finance, technology and capacity building for developing countries.

The South African Team consisting of provincial and local government representatives will be attending parallel sessions related to climate change.The Departments key to negotiations will be following the different negotiations Streams that deal with the relevant matters like Energy, Science and Technology, Water and Sanitation, Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry as well as Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, while International Relations and Cooperation will be playing a leading role in Diplomacy and International Legal aspects. All attending negotiators will be fully engaged on matters relating to their specific areas of responsibility within the National Development Plan’s (Agenda 2030).

Members of Parliament will attend the Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting at COP23 and all other sessions convened for MPs, while MEC will be attending the various negotiations sessions and side events as well as ensuring that our country is well represented and our inputs made in all many important parallel sessions

The South African Team will also work in collaboration with the National Business Initiative (NBI), in is hosting a series of dialogue at our Pavillions to focus on our collective efforts between Government, Business and Civil Society at a country level, in both adaption and mitigatigation.  This collaborative work will include the launch of a Circular Economy initiative in the waste sector.

“In determining the climate action during the pre-2020 period, COP23 is crucial in determining what is required of all Parties to continue the good work that we have been doing to ensure that clear elements of action are agreed to that can be converted into text early in 2018,”  said Dr Molewa.

At COP22 in Morocco in 2016, countries had set  a target of completing the Paris Work Programme during COP24 in 2018 and to  clarifying the modalities for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue aimed at increasing ambition in the pre-2020 and post-2020 years through the revisions on Nationally Determined Contributions where possible.

Minister Molewa said it is important that there is agreement this year of the contents of, and accounting for, Nationally Determined Contributions submitted by Parties to the UNFCCC and how parties should communicate and report on action related to their adaptation efforts and needs. Dr Molewa said there also needs to be agreement on the Adaptation Fund and how compliance with the Paris Agreement will be monitored.

“South Africa is hopeful that the Bonn Climate Change Conference will not only take stock of what is required to implement the Paris Agreement,  but that it will provide assurances that the political balance of the Paris Agreement is upheld.  We are hopeful that all issues of importance to developing countries, such as adaptation and means of implementation, will be addressed in the rule-book to be adopted before 2020,” the Minister said.  

Parties to COP23 are being urged to develop the governance and institutional arrangements, safeguards and operating modalities of the Adaptation Fund to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, with the view of ensuring that the Fund serves this Agreement; through a clear decision in COP 23 that Adaptation Fund shall serve the Paris Agreement.

Minister Molewa had, during the Pre-COP23 meeting in Fiji, in October, called for  the enhancement of institutional arrangements and support, in terms of finance, technology and capacity-building, in order for the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with climate change impacts to achieve its mandate and fulfill its functions. 

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