Minister Edna Molewa attends Pre-Cop23 International Climate Change Talks in FIJI

17 October 2017


The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, has arrived in Fiji for a Pre-COP23 meeting of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on 17 and 18 October 2017.

The Pre-COP 23 Ministerial meeting will serve as a preparatory meeting ahead of the  23rd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 23) and the 13th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 13), to be held in Bonn, Germany, from 06 to 17 November 2017 under the Fijian Presidency.

The pre-COP agenda seeks to advance the work programme under the Paris Agreement as well as climate action agenda during the pre-2020 period.

The objectives of the meeting include enhancing mutual understanding of political priorities and views by countries through enabling High-Level political discussion on key issues.  The meeting will also provide an opportunity for the informal exchange of view on the expected outcomes for COP23.

“The early entry into force of the Paris Agreement on 4 November 2016 is an indication of the commitment of Parties to the UNFCCC to adapting to, and mitigating the effects of climate change,”  said Minister Molewa.  “COP23 will be crucial for technical teams to continue the good work that they have been doing to ensure that clear elements of the Paris Agreement Work Programme are agreed to that can be converted into text early in 2018.”

At COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, countries had set  a target of completing the Paris Work Programme during COP24 in 2018 and to clarifying the modalities for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue aimed at increasing ambition in the pre-2020 and post-2020 years through the revisions on Nationally Determined Contributions where possible.

“It is important that there is agreement of the contents of, and accounting for, Nationally Determined Contributions;  how parties should communicate and report on action related to their adaptation and mitigation  efforts,”  said the Minister.

South Africa is hopeful that the Bonn Climate Change Conference will not only take stock of work required to fully implement the Paris Agreement, but provide assurances that the political balance of the Paris Agreement is upheld, and that all issues of importance to developing countries (including adaptation and means of implementation) will be addressed in the rule-book to be adopted before 2020.

“It is our fervent hope that COP23 will not only focus on ensuring that commitments by developed countries in the pre-2020 period, including the provision of US$100 billion per annum in climate finance to developing countries by 2020, are honored but also that the efforts of developing countries to ensure that the Adaptation Fund serves the Paris Agreement are advanced. Despite opposition from developed countries and a diminishing revenue stream, Parties have agreed that the Adaptation Fund, created under the Kyoto Protocol, should also serve the Paris Agreement after 2020,” said the Minister.

With regard to limits to adaptation, otherwise known as loss and damage, Dr Molewa expressed concern about the increasing devastating events associated with the adverse effects of climate change on the African continent.

“We have therefore called for the enhancement of institutional arrangements and support, in terms of finance, technology and capacity-building, in order for the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with climate change impacts to achieve its mandate and fulfil its functions,” said Minister Molewa.

Dr Molewa added that developed countries should provide full support to developing countries for the formulation, updating and implementation of adaptation communications, including as a component of nationally determined contributions, in a manner that takes into account information on developing countries’ needs and associated costs, including the support needed to implement adaptation action through grants.

“South Africa cannot stress enough the importance of the Adaptation Fund to provide adaptation finance to developing country Parties.   At COP23 we will urge Parties to develop the governance and institutional arrangements, safeguards and operating modalities of the Adaptation Fund to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, with the view of ensuring that the Fund serves this Agreement; through a clear decision in COP 23 that Adaptation Fund shall serve the Paris Agreement,” said the Minister.

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