South Africa upbeat about UN climate change talks

09:09, June 23, 2011      

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South Africa is optimistic about the United Nations climate change conference which will be held in Durban later this year, the country's deputy minister for environmental affairs Rejoice Mabudafhasi said on Wednesday.

According to the South African Press Association (SAPA), she said the United Nations has given South Africa 200 million rands (29.55 million U.S. dollars) towards hosting the 17th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17) in Durban.

She said many other parties are also assisting but the main boost came from the United Nations which has transferred the 200 million rands to South Africa's department of international relations.

She was addressing media in Pretoria via a video link from Cape Town.

Mabudafhasi added that a UN climate change conference in Bonn, Germany, last week had concluded with "encouraging signs of progress".

At that meeting countries had provided more clarity on the approaches to be taken to enable "ambitious actions" to address climate change in the build-up to the Durban conference.

She said South Africa would like to encourage parties to further intensify efforts to finalize decisions on the large number of elements that will make up an ambitious, comprehensive and balanced outcome in Durban.

In September another session will be organized to iron out other issues, she said.

SAPA also reported that a South African negotiating team led by South African minister for environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa would speak to South African parties about developing a national position and policy.

COP17 will seek to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to end next year, with a binding long-term plan on combating climate change.

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