PRESIDENT ZUMA ATTENDS AFRICAN HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT MEETING ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN NEW YORK

President Jacob ZUma

TO ALL MEDIA/NEWS EDITORS

 President Jacob Zuma has today, 18 September 2017, attended the Meeting of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York, United States of America.


"Climate change is a global challenge that requires no one to be left behind.  The whole world affirmed this in Paris and Marrakech when the Paris Agreement entered into force on the 4th November last year," said President Zuma at the conclusion of the session.

President Zuma has urged the Africa Group to work closely together to ensure that implementation of the Paris Agreement was a success.

"In this regard," he said, "negotiations on the Paris rule-book must remain on track and ensure that there is sufficient clarity on Parties' commitments under their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) on mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation."

"Developing countries should be provided with adequate support for their mitigation and adaptation actions and progress should be made on a post-2020 finance goal that should be significant more than the 2020 goal 100 billion US dollars per year in climate finance," the President said, adding that "the efforts of developing countries to adapt to climate change with their own resources should also be recognised as a contribution to the global effort to address climate change."

Speaking about the Bonn Climate Change Conference in Germany, President Zuma said: "We should make progress on the Global Stocktake at the upcoming Bonn Climate Change Conference.  The Global Stocktake, which has the objective of tracking commitments and progress in implementation, must inform Parties' future Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).  It should, therefore, take account of all the elements of climate action, namely mitigation, adaptation and the means of implementation."

The President said it was important for the Africa Group, particularly in the time of global uncertainty, to emphasise adherence to the principles of the Convention, in particular the common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities, equity and the need for developed countries to take the lead in combatting climate change. Those principles, he said, remained applicable to the Paris Agreement.

"The Africa Group should not allow any renegotiation of the Paris Agreement. It was a landmark achievement of the international community. It presents us with the best vehicle to address climate change, which is a monumental challenge of our time, in a manner that is fair and that takes into account countries' national circumstances,"

President Zuma said climate change posed  both a threat and an opportunity to development. "The pursuit of a low-carbon and climate resilient development opens up opportunities for not only achieving our development goals, but also achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the goals set out in Agenda 2063."

The President said "We need to ensure that Africa's key sectors are prioritized in the Implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). We are confident that international solidarity will prevail at the UNFCCC COP23. We should also ensure that the implementation of the NDCs also enhances efforts towards poverty alleviation."

President Zuma said that Infrastructure investment was key to development, and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), provided a blue print for such collaboration. The Africa Group needed to explore the appropriate blend of public, multilateral and private finance to accelerate investment.

The President said that Renewable energy investment as part of an energy mix provided an investment opportunity in Africa's electricity sector.

"The African Renewable Energy Initiative and the Africa Adaptation Initiative should focus on identified synergies and funding opportunities, while encouraging best practise sharing, peer learning and tapping into technical skills available in the Continent," he said.

"We should also focus on building partnerships with the aim of building capacity low-carbon planning and improving the relevant institutions in the energy, transport and the water sectors. We should also exploit opportunities in solar and wind power as well as gas, hydro, biofuels as alternatives energy sources," the President emphasized.

President Zuma also pointed out that Africa's continental strategies should be based on long term adaptation scenarios to inform optimal use of Africa's natural resources in development and that there were two keys to mobilising the means of implementation as enshrined in the UNFCCC and its associated mechanisms, and further anchored in the Paris Agreement:
"First, it is the development of the necessary capacity to plan effectively for mitigation and adaptation policies and programmes, and to monitor their implementation. Second is to develop the capacity within Africa to access the resources within these mechanisms," said the President.

President Zuma expressed his hope that working together as the Africa Group, the African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change could move a step forward in addressing the massive challenge of our time.


Issued by: The Presidency
Pretoria

www.thepresidency.gov.za