DUT teams up with EU Missions ahead of Paris climate change conference

The Durban University of Technology, together with the diplomatic missions of the European Union, Germany and France, are calling for enhanced cooperation on climate change in the run up to the adoption of a new global climate deal in Paris this December. Today a distinguished panel, comprising of Dr Aluwani Nemukula (Youth Ambassador COP17), Mr Bobby Peek, (Director AT groundwork) and Ms Valerie Geen (Head of Energy, National Business Initiative), participated in a public panel discussion on the topic: From Durban to Paris: can we save the planet? The exchange, facilitated by radio journalist Minoshni Pillay, saw active involvement from a rage of interested parties including academia, civil society and the business community.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Durban University of Technology, Prof Ahmed Cassim Bawa, together with German Ambassador Walter Lindner and French Ambassador Elisabeth Barbier got proceedings underway by outlining the specific stakes that the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP21) holds for countries and research institutions in particular.

EU Ambassador-Designate Marcus Cornaro closed the event by inviting all participants to keep a watchful eye on the build-up ahead of COP21. In this context it is important to remember the lessons learnt in Durban at COP17 and that unrelenting commitment, as shown by South Africa then and now, is needed to achieve an adequate outcome.

Participants agreed that the Paris conference will be a historic opportunity to accelerate the shift to a lowcarbon, climate-resilient global economy. People around the world are looking to their leaders for a signal that they are ready and willing to take decisive action to tackle climate change. The EU and its Member States are committed to doing their part and working with their partners to ensure that the conference in Paris is a success.

The EU was the first major economy to put forward its intended contribution to the new agreement – a target of reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

The timely communication by South Africa of its intended contributions (INDCs) after an intensive consultation process with the provinces was welcomed as a positive signal towards COP21.

The EU and South Africa share the objective of ensuring the adoption of a legally binding, ambitious and fair international agreement, applicable to all countries and which is capable of keeping the global average temperature rise below 2°C to avoid dangerous climate change.

Mitigation of climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to climate change consequences and support of action to fight climate change are an integral part of the EU’s cooperation with its partners across the world, including South Africa. The EU and its Member States are major providers of international climate finance – delivering EUR 9.5 billion in 2013 alone. They remain committed to scale up climate finance in order to contribute their share of developed countries’ goals to jointly mobilise some US$100 billion per year by 2020 from a wide variety of public and private sources.

The partnership between the EU and South Africa on climate change was reinforced during the visit of the EU Commissioner Mr Maroš Šefčovič, to South Africa in July this year, notably at his meeting with Minister Edna Molewa where they reaffirmed their shared commitment to secure the adoption of an ambitious new protocol under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at COP21/CMP11 in Paris in December. This would mark the successful conclusion of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, upon which the current round of multilateral negotiations is based.

Joint press release from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in South Africa, the French Embassy in South Africa, the European Union and the Durban University of Technology.

Download the speech of the Ambassador of France to South Africa here :

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publie le 02/11/2015

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