Developed countries must take the lead in reducing emissions, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said in Durban.

“This call is for the developed countries to increase their commitments toward carbon emission reductions,” Molewa told a KwaZulu-Natal climate change meeting. –> The event formed part of preparations for the upcoming 17th UN Convention on Climate Change conference, known as COP17, to be held in Durban from November 28 to December 9.

Molewa said developing countries should do their fair share of emission reductions with support from developed countries in terms of finance, technology and capacity building. She described climate change as arguably the biggest threat facing humankind.

“We want to come out of the COP17 saying that we have demonstrated our commitment, the will and capacity of our country and our people, as well as corporates, to lead a change revolution against climate change.”

Latest scientific reports showed South Africa would become drier in the west and wetter in the east. “If we do not act against climate change, and also ensure that the parties reach agreements that will take us a step forward in the reduction of global carbon emissions, our development is at stake,” she said.

There was a need to ensure that the “Bali Road Map” was put into effect. The map comprises a number of decisions essential to reaching a secure climate future. It was adopted at an international climate conference in Indonesia in 2007. –> Molewa said: “We want to come out of the COP17 saying that we have demonstrated our commitment, the will and capacity of our country and our people, as well as corporates, to lead a change revolution against climate change.”

Molewa said the latest scientific reports showed South Africa would become drier in the west and wetter in the east. “This would accompanied by an increase in the frequency of severe weather events, such as drought, tornados, floods and other natural disasters.”

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