Environmental Affairs Minister Dr Edna Molewa has arrived in Bonn, Germany, where she is leading the South African delegation to the 23rd United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP23).
"In determining the climate action during the pre-2020 period, COP23 is crucial in determining what is required of all parties to continue the good work that we have been doing to ensure that clear elements of action are agreed to that can be converted into text early in 2018," Minister Molewa said.
At COP22 in Morocco in 2016, countries had set a target of completing the Paris Work Programme during COP24 in 2018 and clarifying the modalities for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue aimed at increasing ambition in the pre-2020 and post-2020 years through the revisions on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) where possible.
Minister Molewa said it is important that there is agreement this year of the contents of, and accounting for, NDCs submitted by parties to the UNFCCC and how parties should communicate and report on action related to their adaptation efforts and needs.
She said there also needs to be agreement on the Adaptation Fund and how compliance with the Paris Agreement will be monitored.
"South Africa is hopeful that the Bonn Climate Change Conference will not only take stock of what is required to implement the Paris Agreement, but that it will provide assurances that the political balance of the Paris Agreement is upheld. We are hopeful that all issues of importance to developing countries, such as adaptation and means of implementation, will be addressed in the rule book to be adopted before 2020," Minister Molewa said.
The 23rd COP23 to the UNFCCC started its meeting in Bonn on the 6th November under the Presidency of Fiji, with the High Level Segment scheduled for 15 - 17 November 2016.
COP23 is expected to advance work on the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement. This guideline has to be concluded in time to enable COP24 to take key decisions that will enable timeous commencement of post 2020 actions to be implemented.
COP23 is also expected to discuss among others, loss and damage due to climate change, finance, technology and capacity building for developing countries.
The Minister is joined by the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thomson. The South African team, consisting of provincial and local government representatives, will be attending parallel sessions related to climate change.