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The Durban platform to strengthen the international climate change regimeEdna Molewa, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa Head of South African Delegation for COP17 After a year of intensive negotiation, the final outcome of Durban is historic and precedent setting, ranking with the 1997 conference where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. In the dying hours of this watershed conference we were able to agree on a comprehensive deal. This agreement not only significantly advances the global effort needed now to address the global climate change crisis; but also sets a new long-term pathway for the development of a fair, ambitious and legally binding future multi-lateral and rules-based global climate change system which can balance climate and development imperatives. It ensures the fair participation of all countries (both developed and developing) in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both now and in the future. Overall, this climate change conference has been characterised by a new willingness on the part of all parties to move beyond entrenched negotiating positions and unconstructive rhetoric and engage with the challenges of achieving economic development in an increasingly carbon constrained world. This represents a significant and hopeful step forward.In order to address what needs to be done now, Durban ensured the preservation of the Kyoto Protocol through its decision on the adoption of the 2nd commitment period capturing legally binding commitments of developed countries beyond the expiration date of the 1st commitment period in 2012. Under the convention we anchored emission reduction targets for developed countries that are not willing to be part of the Kyoto 2nd commitment period, as well as emission mitigation actions of developing countries and were able to elaborate the Swiss-image.ch/Photo by Moritz Hager Copyright by World Economic Forum.040 post-durban remarks

transparency and accountability framework for both developed and developing countries. We also fully operationalised a number of international mechanisms to enable and support mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries, particularly for adaptation efforts needed in least developed, African and Small Island countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change but who have contributed least to the problem. Crucially, we have been able to preserve the multilateral rules-based system underpinning the mitigation regime by agreeing on a second commitment period under the Kyoto protocol, through agreement to amend the protocol, setting up a five-year 2nd commitment period from 2013 to 2018. The pledged economy-wide targets of developed countries are inscribed in the decision. These will be further converted into legally binding Quantified Emission Limitation and Reduction Objectives (QELRO's) at COP18 / CMP8 in Qatar. However, the fact that the USA has not joined the Kyoto Protocol and the fact that not all developed countries were willing to place their commitments under the Kyoto was recognised. To address this gap, we have established a process to increase the transparency of the mitigation efforts of both developed and developing countries. In order to ensure the full participation of those developed countries that have indicated that they will not enter into a 2nd commitment period under Kyoto as well as large developing country emerging econ-omies, these commitments under Kyoto are balanced with a mechanism to capture, under the convention, the economy-wide emission reduction targets of these developed countries and subject them to the International Assessment and Reporting transparency and accountability procedures. In the case of developed countries, we will review and assess their economy- wide emission reduction targets and commitments. In the case of developing countries, we will increase the transparency of their nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) of developing countries. At this COP/CMP we have also succeeded in bringing into operation the outcomes that were successfully negotiated in Cancun last year. On finance, there is agreement on the detailed design of the Green Climate Fund, which Minister Trevor Manuel successfully steered through a year of difficult negotiations. The design of the fund includes innovative mechanisms for bringing private sector and market mechanisms into play, so as to increase the potential flow of funding into climate change responses.We have also operationalised the Climate Technology Centre and Network, launched a selection process for the host of the Climate Technology Centre and fine-tuned the procedures and modalities for the TEC. This will substantially strengthen the UNFCCC's operational arm on technology and will assist developing countries " We realised in Durban that given the current social, developmental, economic and political context, trying to force countries to do more than they are willing and able to contribute is a recipe for the complete failure of the international effort to genuinely address the climate crisis "in the negotiation of technology partnerships and transfer agreements, and in adapting these technologies to country purposes. It will also assist with license negotiations, and the establishment of national innovation systems for a low-carbon and climate resilient future.In addressing the question of what needs to be done in future, this COP has reaffirmed a common vision for global cooperation on climate change to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees or 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to review progress towards achieving it, in accordance with the objectives and principles of the Convention. We recognise that the ambition and scope of current commitments are inadequate. Even if the most ambitious current emissions targets are met, emissions will exceed what science requires by an estimated 5 Gigaton (Gt) of CO2 equivalent emissions, according to the UN Environment Programme's Emissions Gap Report. The question that we face is how best to address this gap recognising that it is more than just an "ambition gap"; it is also an "implementation gap!; a "financial and technology gap"; a "capacity gap" and a "legal gap".We realised in Durban that given the current social, developmental, economic and political context, trying to force countries to do more than they are willing and able to contribute is a recipe for the complete failure of the international effort to genuinely address the climate crisis and would have resulted in a "no deal" in Durban; not only killing the Kyoto Protocol but possibly even the UN Convention on climate change itself. The solution is to build a system that gradually transitions to a low-carbon future, that at the same time creates jobs, reduces poverty and improves the quality of life for all. This is a true sustainable development solution to the climate change crisis. Therefore, under the Convention, agreement was reached on the Durban platform, which initiates negotiations leading to a legal instrument, protocol or agreed outcome with legal force applicable to all countries, that will be adopted by 2015 and be fully operational no later than 2020. We must recognise that this outstanding success was achieved through the efforts of TEAM SOUTH AFRICA, which involved herculean efforts of not only national, provincial and local governments but dedicated efforts of our civil society, labour and business sectors, who not only mobilised their international counterparts but demonstrated the warm welcoming spirit and culture of our wonderful country. nPictured: Edna MolewaThis is an edited version of the statement delivered by Minister Edna Molewa on the outcomes of the international negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP17 and its Kyoto Protocol CMP7, delivered by Minister Edna Molewa Source: The Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa. post-durban remarks 041