We need to understand the following as well: 1.UNFCCC 2.Kyoto Protocol 3.IPCC 4.The Bali Action Plan 5.The Copenhagen Accord 6.The Cancun Agreements 7.Why is COP 17 so important?
COP 17 The word itself is an acronym for Conference of Parties (COP). Parties refers to the States that have signed on to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The parties have been meeting annually in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change since 1995. COP 17 is therefore the 17 th Conference that will take place at the end of this year (2011). The COP 17- CMP 7 will mark a critical moment in the ongoing international climate change negotiations. CMP 7 means the seventh meeting of the Parties since the Kyoto Protocol was signed.
COP 17 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference The 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December 2011.DurbanSouth Africa Officially it is referred to as the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC. It is also the 7th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties (CMP 7) to the Kyoto Protocol. Kyoto Protocol In addition, the two permanent subsidiary bodies of the UNFCCC – the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) – are likely to hold their 35th sessions.
(1)The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)(21 March 1994) Christiana Figueres from Costa Rica is the Head of the UNFCCC. UNFCCC has set an overall framework for global efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change. UNFCCC recognises that the climate system is a shared resource whose stability can be affected by industrial and other emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases..
(2) The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)(21 March 1994) Governments are required to: (i) gather and share information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and best practices (ii) launch national strategies for addressing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to expected impacts, including the provision of financial and technological support to developing countries (iii) cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Currently, there are 195 Parties (194 States and 1 regional economic integration organisation) to the Convention.
(1)The Kyoto Protocol The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the UNFCCC. It sets binding targets for 37 industrialised countries and the European Union for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Using the emissions inventory for the year 1990 as a basis, reductions amounting to an average of 5% over the five-year period 2008-2012 is expected. The major difference between the Protocol and the UNFCCC is that while the UNFCCC encourages industrialised countries to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions (GHG’s), the Protocol commits them to do so.
(2)The Kyoto Protocol The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012 A new international framework needs to have been negotiated and ratified that can deliver the stringent emission reductions as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The basis for this is expected to happen in COP 17- CMP 7.
(1) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) IPCC was established in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) IPCC provides the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio- economic impacts. As an intergovernmental body the IPCC is open to all member countries of the United Nations and WMO.
(2) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) IPCC was established in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) IPCC provides the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio- economic impacts. As an intergovernmental body the IPCC is open to all member countries of the United Nations and WMO.
Towards a new agreement in 2012 Kyoto Protocol reaches its sell by date in 2012. Processes have been taking place to replace it with a new binding agreement. In 2007, The Bali Action Plan sought such an agreement. COP 15 which took place in Copenhagen called for a new deal but could only come up with the Copenhagen Accord. COP 16 which took place in Mexico in 2010 resulted in the CANCUN AGREEMENTS. It is up to South Africa to ensure that a solid agreement is to happen in 2012.
The Bali Action Plan (5 point plan) The Bali Action Plan was agreed upon at COP 13 in December, in Bali, Indonesia. It calls for the full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC through long-term cooperative action up to and beyond 2012 by addressing : 1. A shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long- term global goal for emission reductions. 2.Enhanced national/international action on mitigation of climate change. 3.Enhanced action on adaptation. 4.Enhanced action on technology development and transfer to support action on mitigation and adaptation. 5.Enhanced action on the provision of financial resources and investment to support action on mitigation and adaptation and technology cooperation.
The Copenhagen Accord The 15th session of the Conference of Parties (COP 15) to the UNFCCC took place in Denmark in the city of Copenhagen. COP 15 noted the Copenhagen Accord at the final plenary on 18 December 2009. Countries had to pledge their CO2 emission reductions. The Accord is not legally binding and does not commit countries to agree to a binding successor to the Kyoto Protocol. An assessment of the implementation of this Accord is to be completed by 2015.
The Cancun Agreements COP 16 was held in Cancún, Mexico in 2010 Arising thereof the Cancun Agreements were adopted. The Cancun Agreements are a set of significant decisions: 1.The international community agreed to address the long-term challenge of climate change collectively and comprehensively over time and to take concrete action now to speed up the global response. 2.The agreements represent key steps forward in capturing plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to help developing nations protect themselves from climate impacts and build their own sustainable futures.
The 11 th Hour has arrived. We cannot allow the Kyoto Protocol to die here. Christina Figueres (Head :UNFCCC) maintains that it is important to resolve the future of the Kyoto Protocol which is fundamental and critical for at least two reasons: 1) It contains the key rules to quantify monitor the mitigation efforts of countries. 2) It also contains important market based mechanisms that allows those countries to reach their mitigation levels in a cost effective manner.
Towards a new agreement in 2012: Taking meaningful climate action is about seizing the opportunity – to build international competitiveness, new economic infrastructure, sectors and activity; create prosperity and jobs; transform our economy and society; reduce poverty; improve health and quality of life for all.
Climate Change Consequences for S A -South Africa’s coastal regions will warm by around 1-2°C by about 2050 and around 3-4°C by about 2100; -South Africa’s interior regions will warm by around 3-4°C by about 2050 and around 6-7°C by about 2100; - There will be significant changes in rainfall patterns and this, coupled with increased evaporation, will result in significant changes in respect of water availability, e.g. the western side of the country is likely to experience significant reductions in the flow of streams in the region;
CC Consequences if we do not take action - Our biodiversity will be severely impacted, especially the grasslands, fynbos and succulent Karoo where a high level of extinctions are predicted; - Small scale and homestead farmers in dry lands are most vulnerable to climate change and although intensive irrigated agriculture is better off than these farmers, irrigated lands remain vulnerable to reductions in available water; - Some predictions suggest that maize production in summer rainfall areas and fruit and cereal production in winter rainfall areas may be badly affected.
CC Consequences if we do not take action - Commercial forestry is vulnerable to an increased frequency of wildfires and changes in available water in south-western regions; -Rangelands are vulnerable to bush encroachment which reduces grazing lands; - Alien invasive plant species are likely to spread more and have an ever-increasing negative impact on water resources
YES, WE CAN South Africa has proven to the world that as a fledgling democracy, we have surpassed international expectations when we host events of such stature. -A new agreement is possible here. -A new agreement is MOST probable in SA. Our environment is most conducive to any kind of negotiating process, our leadership is focussed and experienced, our citizens are receptive, friendly and accommodating, our facilities are world class. YES, A new agreement can be negotiated here in South Africa: South Africa:The land of Possibilities