With the African continent facing the full impact of the climate emergency, the region cannot delay its climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts, says Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy.

“For Africa, as a region that is particularly vulnerable to climate change, delayed climate action is not an option. We are facing the full impacts of the climate emergency, even as we struggle to overcome the devastating socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that has exacerbated Africa´s Special Needs and Circumstances,” the Minister said on Monday.

Addressing the high-level segment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 26 in Glasgow, United Kingdom, she said Africa’s sustainable development efforts have been set back.

“Our message to the international community is clear – we need your support now more than ever before to achieve our climate objectives, in the context of a Just Transition,” Creecy said.

South Africa is making progress on its climate goals as the country has established the Presidential Climate Commission, adopted the National Adaptation Strategy, implemented an enhanced Mitigation system with robust monitoring and evaluation and has developed a long-term low emissions strategy.

“We have submitted our updated and significantly more ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) ahead of COP 26. This brings forward the peaking of our emissions by a decade and contains detailed information on adaptation and the support we require from the international community.

“True to the letter and spirit of the Paris Agreement, the lower end of our 2030 updated target emission range is consistent with a 1.5-degree pathway, while the upper end of the range is consistent with a 2-degree pathway. Where we get to in this range will depend on the international support we receive,” the Minister said.

In addition, South Africa is developing detailed plans to enable a Just Transition to a low carbon economy and climate resilient society.

These plans will locate support for affected workers and communities and will be at the centre of these plans.

“To ensure that we have a balanced outcome at COP26, we need to send a clear signal that all three priorities of the Paris Agreement will be advanced with equal determination.

She said developed countries need to honour their obligations to provide finance and technical support.

“To re-establish trust, we need developed countries to honour current obligations to provide finance and technical support. We must also move with speed to activate the post-2025 Finance Goal because we on the African Continent know that if we are to sustain the notion that COP26 is the “Ambition COP”, we need a clearly defined ambitious long-term finance goal,” the Minister said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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