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Zuma urges world leaders to walk the talk
Source: Bua News
Source Date: Monday, December 13, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: South Africa
Created: Dec 13, 2010

Several non-governmental organisations, supported by the European Union (EU), have been pressing for progress to be made in Cancun, with a view of concluding a legally binding agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol due to expire at the end of 2012.

The EU is reportedly willing to consider a second Kyoto commitment period - but on condition that it formed part of a wider global agreement which engages all major economies in climate action and that the "environmental integrity" of the protocol is improved.

Zuma, speaking at the Heads of State and Government dialogue, further appealed for decisions on a roadmap and timelines for further negotiations as well as decisions to support implementation in the short term.

This will enable Durban to build on what has been achieved in Cancun, and to ensure that future generations "inherit a world that is sustainable and climate resilient."

"The world is waiting for good news and progress to emerge from these negotiations. They look up to us to come up with meaningful solutions," said Zuma.

He noted that regions such as Africa and small Island states were becoming more vulnerable as leaders spend hours, months and years deliberating.

"Drought in Africa, flooding in the Philippines, Pakistan and China, wild fires in Russia and other parts of the world are warnings of what lies ahead if we do not act sooner," said the President.

It is estimated that in some African countries, yields from rainfed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50% in the next 20 years.

In addition, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress by 2020.

Health impacts will also magnify the challenges of food and water insecurity. Increasing strain on the resilience of many ecosystems will affect the livelihoods of people living in rural areas.

Zuma said considering that the effect of climate change is already felt by most developing countries, it was important that urgent steps be taken to help them adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change.

The Copenhagen accord provides political direction in this respect by encouraging developed countries to provide adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, technology and capacity building for adaptation action in developing countries. - BuaNews




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