South Africa: Minister Barbara Creecy Participates in July Ministerial Climate Change Meeting in London, UK

press release

Minister Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment participated in a July Ministerial Climate Change meeting hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 26 President-Designate, Mr. Alok Sharma, on 25 and 26 July 2021 in London, UK.

The July Ministerial brought climate and environment ministers and representatives from more than 50 countries together to lay the groundwork for success ahead of November's Glasgow COP26 negotiations on climate change. The event marks the first face-to-face ministerial of its kind in more than 18 months. The topics under discussion included the Global Goal on Adaptation and scaling up efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change, keeping 1.5°C alive, loss and damage caused by climate change, focus on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, and mobilizing climate finance.

The Minister stressed that for the UNFCCC COP 26 in Glasgow to be relevant, responsive and successful we need ambition and progression on mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation, i.e., finance, technology and capacity building. Adaptation and loss and damage are central to the multilateral climate regime, both under the Convention and under its Paris Agreement. One of the triumphs of Paris is the global goal on adaptation, a very strong recognition of the centrality of adaptation to the multilateral climate regime.

On the Global Goal on Adaptation Minister Creecy said: "South Africa envisages an outcome at COP 26 on adaptation that will enable practical progress, including launching a formal programme of work on the operationalization of the Global Goal on Adaptation" and furthermore "We need to increase the adaptive ability and resilience of the global population to the adverse impacts of climate change by at least 50% by 2030 and by at least 90% by 2050. In this regard, focus would be placed on the most vulnerable people and communities; the health and well-being; food and water security; infrastructure and the built environment; and ecosystems and ecosystem services, particularly in Africa, SIDs and LDCs."

With regard to keeping alive 1.5-degree Paris Agreement goal Minister Creecy said: "given the importance of long-term pathways for attaining the 1.5 degree goal, South Africa is of the view that it would be useful to provide encouragement to Parties to update and communicate their long-term strategies and to provide with this encouragement the means of support for developing countries to do so. We are also of the view that it would be valuable for the Secretariat to compile a synthesis report of these long-term strategies from time to time".

Ministers also reflected on key steps of concluding in Glasgow the issues of carbon market or the so called Article 6 of the Paris Agreement with the main focus on ensuring robust accounting rules and the share of proceeds from internationally transferred mitigation outcomes to finance adaptation efforts of developing countries.

Finally, the meeting also heard that the emerging markets require an estimated US$3-4 trillion annually in low-carbon investments over the next 15 years. In order to operationalize and implement the current round of updated NDCs and then to prepare a second updated NDC in 2025.

In this regard, Minister Creecy called on the developed countries to ensure access to long-term, predictable, and affordable finance for developing countries. With regard the US$ 100 bn 2020 and through to 2025 she stressed that it is imperative from the perspective of restoring and maintaining trust and transparency that the COP assess whether the goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion has been achieved.

As a reflection of ambition and progression we must initiate deliberations on setting a new collective quantified mobilization goal prior to 2025 from a floor of USD 100 billion per year from both public and private sources taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries and in this regard, we require at COP 26 to agree on a clear road map outlining milestones towards setting this goal.

She furthermore proposed as as a starting point a new mobilization goal could potentially be that Developed countries commit to a new collective goal of mobilizing jointly USD 750 billion dollars a year by 2030 from a floor of US$ 100 bn, taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries and in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation. This funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance

In conclusion, Minister Creecy said:" we would like to congratulate the in-coming UK COP26 President for providing Ministers with space to advance the key negotiating issues that are necessary for the success of Glasgow COP 26".

Minister Creecy also held a series of bilateral meetings on the margins of the July Ministerial with a range of countries with a view to enhancing potential cooperation with South Africa on climate action.

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