Johannesburg — Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Valli Moosa has welcomed the outcomes of the Climate Change Conference he attended in India during the past week.
Speaking in New Delhi on Sunday, Moosa characterised the conference as a step in the right direction in a concerted effort to combat impending threats of climate change.
In a statement issued in Johannesburg, Moosa said the Delhi declaration was significant as it clearly supported the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).
"The realisation of the strong linkage between climate change and sustainable development is crucial in ensuring that we reorganise our resources in a manner to meet climate change imperatives in the future."
In one of the roundtables chaired by Moosa, the conference highlighted the fact that the outcomes of the WSSD were seen as a means of achieving a dual objective -- of producing sustainable development and climate change benefits.
Moosa said the declaration underlined this point strongly, especially for countries such as South Africa that were faced with major sustainable development challenges.
"Also of importance is the fact that the declaration affirms New Partnership for Africa's Development as a key delivery mechanism for the economic and social development of Africa. "
This was a clear recognition that the developing countries that would bear most of the adverse impacts of global climate change should be assisted with financial and technological resources for adaptation programmes.
The declaration underlined the urgency for parties to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which seeks to commit countries to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, as soon as possible.
"We need effective policies, both nationally and internationally to achieve the objective of the climate convention. Therefore, entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol is a necessary first step to action on climate change."