Expect a tough round of climate talks in Durban: S.Africa

October 21, 2011
South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane listens to a question during a press conference in Bulgaria in September 2011. The upcoming UN climate talks in South Africa will be "tough" despite progress in moving toward a new round of Kyoto Protocol commitments, Nkoana-Mashabane said Friday.

The upcoming UN climate talks in South Africa will be "tough" despite progress in moving toward a new round of Kyoto Protocol commitments, South Africa's foreign minister said Friday.

"We no longer have time to postpone the key issue particularly of the second commitment period to somewhere else or to another COP (Conference of Parties). It has to be discussed in Durban," Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told journalists.

"The majority of party members here were saying Kyoto is very very important because this is the only instrument we have in the UNFCCC (UN ) process that is legally binding."

Nkoana-Mashabane hosted two days of ministerial consultations in Stellenbosch which she said had seen for fresh Kyoto commitments with the current set expiring after 2012 ahead of the end of year talks.

"The majority of the countries that were represented here...are all saying that one of the key outcomes for Durban is that we commit on the second commitment of Kyoto," she said.

"There are a few countries who are still putting conditions to say if A happens or B happens, they think they will sign on but they are not too many. So therefore again the general of the outcome of this meeting was very positive."

However, parties can expect that the next round will not be easy.

"We've said that this would be a tough COP because when we emerged from , there was a lot of disillusionment so in Cancun there was no energy to discuss the difficult political issues that needed attention but progress has been made," she said, saying trust had been boosted in Mexico.

"It is going to be a tough COP because it is a COP that can't avoid the political issues that were not thoroughly discussed in Cancun.

But while Durban will not be easy, Nkoana-Mashabane said the latest consultations had given her hope that there was a political will to ensure success in Durban.

"I really am quite confident that we have made a lot of progress but with COP processes or UNFCCC processes it's not done until it's done," she told reporters.

The conference takes place from November 28 to December 9.

Explore further: UN climate chief warns on Kyoto Protocol deadline

Related Stories

UN climate chief warns on Kyoto Protocol deadline

April 4, 2011

Commitments by most developed countries to cut carbon emissions are likely to expire at the end of next year without a new round of legally binding pledges, the UN's climate chief warned Monday.

Concerns ahead of S. Africa climate talks

August 7, 2011

South Africa's preparations to host the next major round of climate talks have met with scepticism from activists critical of what they say is the country's lack of leadership on environmental issues.

Emerging powers press rich world on CO2 cuts

August 28, 2011

Brazil, South Africa, India and China called Friday on industrialized nations to step up their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a key UN climate summit later this year.

EU urges roadmap this year on climate action

October 3, 2011

The European Union urged all nations Sunday to make clear how they will tackle climate change, saying the world needs a roadmap this year on future action even if a treaty appears out of reach.

Climate talks inch ahead on aid despite discord

October 8, 2011

Climate negotiators said they made progress on laying out ways to help poor countries but deep differences remained on core issues ahead of a make-or-break talks in South Africa.

Recommended for you

Can Paris pledges avert severe climate change?

November 26, 2015

More than 190 countries are meeting in Paris next week to create a durable framework for addressing climate change and to implement a process to reduce greenhouse gases over time. A key part of this agreement would be the ...

Amazon deforestation leaps 16 percent in 2015

November 28, 2015

Illegal logging and clearing of Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 16 percent in the last year, the government said, in a setback to the aim of stopping destruction of the world's greatest forest by 2030.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.