Minister Edna Molewa concludes Europe visit to attend the Petersburg Climate Dialogue and the 2nd Session of the Ministerial on Climate Action

22 June 2018

 

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa today concluded her successful visit to Europe which included two climate change related Ministerial Working Meetings. The Petersberg Climate Dialogue was hosted by Germany in Berlin on the 18th and 19th June 2018 and the 2nd Ministerial on Climate Action (MoCA) hosted by the EU and the Governments of China and Canada in Brussels, Belgium on 20 to 21 June 2018.

Poland as the incoming President of the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) to be held in Katowice, Poland, in November/December this year, attended both meetings.

Thirty five countries attended the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, which were informal high level political discussions focused on working together to support the international climate change negotiations. These informal political discussions are aimed at generating a momentum behind the formal negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“For the first time, the annual meeting put a focus on the social aspects of climate action, under the heading “changing together for a just transition”. We emphasized that climate policy should reflect solidarity and put people at the centre. As Ministers, we reiterated the message that Paris Agreement is irreversible and non-negotiable. We also called upon the negotiators to accelerate the pace of the negotiations with the aim to produce a text that provides the basis for concluding the UNFCCC negotiations on the implementation guidelines that are necessary for the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement framework from 2020. We further emphasised the importance of delivering on public climate finance and the commitment to mobilize USD 100 billion per year by 2020,” Minister Molewa said.

At the 2nd MOCA was attended by 20 Ministers, 21 Head of Delegations as well as chairs of key Party Groupings in the UN climate negotiations, and aimed to identify and further understand specific political issues that need to be resolved to enable the landmark climate change Paris Agreement fully operational.

Minister Molewa said “discussions were frank and definitely have paved a smoother way for the negotiators to continue to find one another within the multilateral system, towards the implementation of the Paris agreement”.

Key outcomes of the meeting include:

  • Rich discussions that reaffirmed parties’ commitments to the Paris Agreement as well as strong commitment for a successful outcome at COP24;
  • Emphasis on the importance of the delicate political balance in the agreement between mitigation, adaptation, support as well as the key role played by transparency in the operational rules of the Paris Work Programme at COP24;
  • Agreement that guidance on nationally determined contributions (NDCs) should accommodate the diversity of the NDCs submitted by Parties;
  • Commitment that an enhanced transparency framework should be comprehensive. It should be built on confidence in the Agreement and further build trust between countries;
  • Ministers reflected that the enhanced system would recognize differences in the Parties’ starting points and build on existing experience and arrangements;
  • Ministers also discussed the direction of travel, and evolution that takes into account the differences in national context and encourages improvements over time;
  • Ministers stressed that capacity building is at the core of the solution for enhanced transparency and enhanced participation;
  • Agreement that provision of finance to developing countries is key to the implementation of the Paris Agreement; and that
  • The Talanoa 2018 Facilitative Dialogue should maintain the constructive spirit, share best practice and raise the level of ambition for the transition to low-carbon and climate resilient development.

These meetings took place at a time when Cabinet has approved the Climate Change Bill for public comment and further processing by Parliament.

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