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" "THROUGH OURACTIONS, WE NEEDTO RESPOND TOTHE NOTION THATTHERE IS A TRADE-OFF TO BE MADEBETWEEN FASTERECONOMICGROWTH AND THEPRESERVATION OF OUR ENVIRONMENTs one of our priorities, we have theimperative to contribute to building abetter Africa and a better world. To dothat, we should amongst other things,tackle the challenges of climate change and chart aneconomic path that is both fair and sustainable. Climate Change is one of the greatest sustainabledevelopment challenges of our time. Solutions to dealwith this challenge require a concerted internationaleffort. To this end, we sought to play a meaningful andconstructive role in the COP 15 Climate ChangeSummit in Copenhagen in December last year.We had hoped to achieve an international agreementthat would give equal attention to the reduction ofgreenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to theeffects of climate change. We had an obligation tobalance both climate and development imperatives. We wanted to secure the Convention principles of"equity" and "common but differentiatedresponsibilities". Though this outcome was notrealised, COP 15 moved us a number of steps closer toour goal. We are committed to the continuingnegotiations and look forward to a balanced agreementin Mexico later this year. Our commitment to tackle climate change does notrest only on the achievement and implementation ofinternational agreements. Our commitment must beborne out by what we do here at home. We have themeans indeed, the responsibility to ensure that ourpolicies, programmes and activities contribute toemission reduction and respond to the impact ofclimate change on our country and region. There is great opportunity in the development ofindustries that combat the negative effects of climatechange. South Africa needs to develop strong capacityin green technologies and industries. Through ouractions, we need to respond to the notion that there isa trade-off to be made between faster economic growthand the preservation of our environment. The creation of decent work is one of the top fivepriorities of this government. The pursuit of this priorityis closely linked to the other four priorities: education,health, rural development, and the fight against crimeand corruption. We believe that by stimulatinginvestment in green industries, we will be able tocontribute to the creation of decent work. In our Medium Term Strategic Framework, whichguides government's programme for 2009 to 2014, we undertake to pursue and further explore theconcept of "green jobs", including scaling up labour-intensive natural resource management practiceswhich contribute to decent work and livelihoodopportunities. We are in particular pursuing investments in projectsand industries in the fields of marine aquaculturedevelopment, wildlife management, waste servicesand ecosystems rehabilitation programmes. Efforts tomeet the energy efficiency target of 12 per cent by2015 and our renewable energy targets will beenhanced by creating an enabling environment forrenewable energy. We also understand a green economy to be even broader than that. It should seek to address the interdependence between economic growth, social protection and the preservation of naturalecosystems. In the midst of the global economic crisis, the United Nations Environment ProgrammeOPPORTUNITY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF GREENECONOMY IN SOUTH AFRICA110G-20 MEMBERSJACOB ZUMA, PRESIDENT, REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICAAPhoto: UN Photo

G-20 MEMBERS111called for a Global Green New Deal. According to this, governments are encouraged tosupport a greener economy that creates green jobs,promotes sustainable and inclusive growth, andadvances the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Today, at this summit, we are responding to that call. It would be important to note the establishment of thecountry's National Planning Commission, which heldits inaugural meeting last week. It has been tasked toassist us to develop long-term development plans totake the country beyond the next decade. TheCommission will develop well-researched, evidence-based proposals, cutting across the three spheres ofgovernment and across ministries and departments. Itwill produce reports on a range of issues that impact onour long term development. These include water, food and energy security, climatechange, infrastructure planning, human resourcedevelopment, defence and security matters, thestructure of the economy, spatial planning,demographic trends and so forth. The work of thecommission will have a significant impact on how weunderstand the green economy and the role it is goingto play in the country's development in ten to twentyyears time. It would be important also for theCommission to have the benefit of the deliberationscurrently underway on strategies to promote a greeneconomy. A Green Economy will require integrated strategies andplans that effectively balance economic,environmental and social development objectives.Such a delicate balance will require carefully craftedpolicy and institutional frameworks that are gearedtowards practical action and delivery. We recognisethat a substantial increase in investment is necessaryto achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation. We are seeking a global agreement that the bulk of thisinvestment should come from those countries thatbear the greatest historical responsibility for climatechange, the countries of the developed world. At thesame time, South Africa should seek to mobilise bothpublic and private resources for mitigation andadaptation. There is increasing recognition that cleantechnology development offers significant businessopportunities and gains. As a country we need to improve our capacity todevelop and use such technology. In doing so, we willbe able to elaborate the economic case forenvironmental management and sustainabledevelopment. We also need to make the case thatfunctioning ecosystems underpin all economic andsocial activity. Ecosystem failure will seriously compromise our abilityto address our social and economic priorities. Naturalresources are national economic assets, and oureconomy depends heavily on energy and mineralresources, biodiversity, agriculture, forestry, fishingand tourism. In short, we have no option but to manageour natural resources in a sustainable way. We have nochoice but to be eco-friendly. We have no choice but todevelop a green economy. As we look at our national priorities and interests, weshould be careful not to separate them from theeconomic, social and environmental priorities of theregion and continent. There is significant opportunityfor the development of a green economy in SouthernAfrica, and which extends to other parts of thecontinent. nThe above remarks are excerpts from the keynoteaddress by Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, at the Green Economy Summit,Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg on 18 May 2010. For further information please visit(http://www.thepresidency.gov.za)