BONN, Environmental Affairs Minister Dr Edna Molewa has arrived in Bonn, Germany, at the head of the South African delegation to the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which reaches its highest level stage this week.

In determining the climate action during the pre-2020 period, COP23 is crucial in determining what is required of all parties to continue the good work that we have been doing to ensure that clear elements of action are agreed to that can be converted into text early in 2018, Molewa said Tuesday.

At COP22 in Morocco in 2016, countries had set a target of completing the Paris Work Programme during COP24 in 2018 and 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 (NDCs) where possible.

Molewa said it is important that there is agreement this year of the contents of, and accounting for, NDCs submitted by parties to the UNFCCC and how parties should communicate and report on action related to their adaptation efforts and needs. There also needs to be agreement on the Adaptation Fund and how compliance with the Paris Agreement will be monitored, she added.

South Africa is hopeful that the Bonn Climate Change Conference will not only take stock of what is required to implement the Paris Agreement, but that it will provide assurances that the political balance of the Paris Agreement is upheld. We are hopeful that all issues of importance to developing countries, such as adaptation and means of implementation, will be addressed in the rule book to be adopted before 2020, Molewa said.

COP23 started its meeting in Bonn on Nov 6 under the Presidency of Fiji, with the High Level Segment scheduled for Nov 15 to 17. It is expected to advance the work on the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement. This guideline has to be concluded in time to enable COP24 to take key decisions that will enable timeous commencement of post 2020 actions to be implemented.

COP23 is also expected to discuss among others, loss and damage due to climate change, finance, technology and capacity building for developing countries.

Molewa is accompanied by Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs Barbara Thomson as well as provincial and local government representatives. The team will be attending parallel sessions related to climate change.