Concern over move to coal

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy has expressed concern at some developed countries who were reverting to coal in response to their negative national circumstances.

This as the Glasgow Climate Pact called upon nations to phase down unabated coal power and inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels.

“We cannot have backtracking by developed country Parties. Developed countries must continue taking the lead with ambitious action. The ultimate measure of climate leadership is not what countries do in times of comfort and convenience, but what they do in times of challenge and controversy,” the Minister said on Monday.

Creecy was addressing the opening of the 13th Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, Germany.

“Climate change is currently costing African countries between three and five percent of their GDPs. Regionally, Africa is experiencing extreme climate impacts which the continent had very little role in causing.

“Conference of the Parties (COP 27) needs to focus on supporting a people-centred just equitable transition in the developing world. The urgent need is to adapt now, while we build resilience for the future. We can only avoid loss and minimize damage with the appropriate scale of public finance that does not exacerbate the indebtedness of Africa,” the Minister said.

Creecy said South Africa is further accelerating its climate actions, in the context of just transitions and sustainable development.

“Since Conference of the Parties (COP 26), we have finalised our Just Transitions Framework, which will form the basis for our long-term climate action. To this end, we have set up a Task Team to develop an investment plan for the Just Energy Transition Partnership or JETP announced in Glasgow, with our Partner countries – Germany, France, the UK, the US and the European Union (EU),” the Minister said.

The Climate Bill, which is currently before Parliament, lays the regulatory framework for the whole of government, business, organised labour and civil society to implement our country’s climate commitments.

“However, we are very concerned at the lack of progress in the multilateral negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on key areas since COP 26. The discussions on loss and damage, finance, adaptation, and the just transition remain trapped in process-related discussions.

Last year in Glasgow some developing countries were vilified for stressing their national circumstances in relation to some of the desired outcomes in the Glasgow Climate Pact. Yet just over six months after Glasgow we are witnessing many developed countries reverting back to coal in response to their negative national circumstances,” she said.

Source: South African Government News Agency