South Africa on Monday called for increased support for developing countries in fighting climate change.
South African Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane made the appeal as she announced South Africa’s participation in the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP24) in Katowice, Poland.
“The Katowice Conference should include taking stock of work required to fully implement the Paris Agreement, provide assurances that the political balance of the Paris Agreement is upheld, and that all issues of importance to developing countries will be addressed in the rule-book to be adopted,” said Mokonyane.
The focus at COP24 should be on ensuring that commitments by developed countries in the pre-2020 period, including the provision of 100 billion U.S. dollars per annum in climate finance to developing countries by 2020, are honoured, the minister said.
COP24 is a critical milestone towards the success of the multilateral approach to addressing climate change at a time when such an approach is being opposed by the United States and further undermined by backtracking on commitments by several other developed countries, Mokonyane said.
The international climate change talks started on Sunday and will last until Dec. 14 under the presidency of Poland.
The mandate of the Katowice Climate Conference is to adopt the Paris Agreement Work Program, setting out the implementation guidelines required to operationalize the Paris Agreement in 2020.
The Conference will also host ministerial-level events, including the Talanoa Dialogue, which aims to raise ambition and accelerate action to address climate change, as well as dialogues on financial support for developing countries and implementation of the pre-2020 agenda under the convention and its Kyoto Protocol.
South Africa has identified a number of priorities for COP24 where it is important to ensure the technical needs and requirements of nations to mitigate and adapt to climate change are comprehensively negotiated.
In 2015, South Africa joined 196 countries in ratifying the Paris Agreement, which came into effect on Nov. 4, 2016.