By Bulelani Phillip
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 26 (NNN-SABC) — South Africa will push for a legally binding agreement at the upcoming 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) beginning in Paris next Monday.
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says ambitious climate change mitigation measures have been submitted ahead of the conference.
Drought and water shortages are plaguing South Africa and burning fossil fuels to augment the fragile energy supply remains a concern. But there are various measures to reduce carbon emissions, through Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC).
Molewa says: “Our INDC is ambitious, it’s fair, pro-development and takes into account the country’s triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.”
This includes renewable energy, and moving the transportation of goods from roads to rail. But the super powers will have to join in the efforts to reduce global warming.
“The agreement will be applicable to all parties and therefore nobody is allowed or will actually have an opportunity to slide back and it will come into effect in 2020,” adds Molewa.
However, some opposition parties in South Africa are demanding more. Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Environmental Affairs Zwelakhe Hadebe says: “As I speak to you there is no monitoring or verification of accuracy of data by the major emitters due to the lack of both human and financial resources by local spheres of government.”
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)’s Nthako Matiase says: “The current drought is already a lesson of what is yet to come. We must all stand very firm in our opposition to global power bullying.”
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Chief Whip Narend Singh says: “We must follow a path of sustainable energy efficiency … solar, wind, hydro energy must receive greater impetus.”
Parliament wants a new law to clamp down on industries. The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Environmental Affairs, Jackson Mthembu says: “We would like corporate citizens/companies [to remain] accountable to their carbon budget commitments and/or allocations but for this to happen, the (Environment) Minister [Edna Molewa] requires an act of Parliament.” — NNN-SABC