Climate talks: SA calls for binding outcome

South Africa and other developing countries called for a legally binding outcome at the climate change talks held in Mexico over the past week.

“SA, along with most other developing countries in Africa, called for a two-track legally binding outcome ... where developed countries who joined the Kyoto Protocol agree to a second commitment period under the protocol,” Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on Wednesday.

“The second track [requires] developed countries who did not join the Kyoto Protocol to make comparable commitments under the convention with the collective effort of all developed countries.”

Under the second track, developing countries would contribute to the solution to climate change, but would need finance and technological support, she said.

Mexico hosted the 16th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the sixth meeting of parties to the Kyoto Protocol between November 29 and December 10 in Cancún.

She called the adoption of the “Cancún Agreement” an “extraordinary achievement” which has preserved the possibility for a two-track legally binding outcome.

The outcome would aim for a 25% 40% aggregate reduction from 1990 levels by 2020.

There was, however, no agreement on a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, Molewa said.

Negotiations on this issue would continue at the climate change conference in Durban in December 2011.

Developed countries have agreed to continue work on a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and all countries agreed to list their commitments or actions and an outline of “the major building blocks for a future multi-lateral climate change regime”.—Sapa

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