Africa already affected by climate change

African countries are already experiencing some of the worst effects of climate change, says Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

“We must anticipate that these impacts will worsen over time, unless global greenhouse gas emissions are drastically reduced, with developed countries taking the lead,” Minister Molewa said.

She is currently attending the 2Environment1st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with President Jacob Zuma in Paris, France.

The conference concludes a four-year negotiating process that was mandated by the global climate change negotiations hosted by South Africa in 2011 in Durban.

The Durban Climate Conference achieved an unprecedented outcome that not only significantly advanced the global effort needed urgently to address the immediate global climate change crisis.

It also set a new long-term pathway for the development of a fair, ambitious and legally binding future multi-lateral and rules-based global climate change system which can balance climate and development imperatives.

The new global agreement, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, will ensure the fair participation of all countries, both developed and developing, in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both now and in the future.

Minister Molewa said South Africa has long put in place progressive, innovative and proactive policies and plans to deal with an ever-changing climate.

“These policies, strategies and planning instruments instituted by this government demonstrate that we are proudly leading from the front and at the same time hard at work behind the scenes, and beyond the headlines, to ensure that the Paris climate change negotiations produce a multilateral legal agreement that is ambitious, fair and effective and balances development priorities with the need and urgency to address the global challenge of climate change,” Minister Molewa said. –

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