Ramphosa urges developed countries to honour climate pledge

Ramphosa urges developed countries to honour climate pledge

September 26, 2023

President Cyril Ramaphosa has emphasised the call for developed countries to assist developing nations to transition to low carbon economies.

Ramaphosa said in his weekly newsletter that while the world had agreed on urgent actions to limit global temperature rises and mitigate the impact of climate change in Paris in 2015, its effects are now being “increasingly felt with greater ferocity.”

His views were aired as the Western Cape took stock of a weekend of severe weather that laid waste to roads and residential areas that, at last count on September 26, had claimed the lives of at least eight people.

“Although developed economy countries promised to support developing economies as they transition to low-carbon, climate resilient societies, this support has not been forthcoming at the scale and with the urgency that is needed,” Ramaphosa said.

“Wealthy countries have not provided the promised finance that vulnerable countries need to adapt to climate change and to cover the cost of the loss and damage caused by climate disasters,” he said.

Last week, on the sidelines of the recent United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), UN Secretary General António Guterres held a Climate Ambition Summit.

Ramaphosa said South Africa had used the summit to “reiterate our long-stated position that developed economy countries must fulfil their obligations and honour their past promises to developing economy countries”.

“This is not about charity. It is about economic and social justice. Africa’s people are literally paying the price for the industrialisation and development of the countries of the north,” Ramaphosa said.

“It is also about shared interests because the economic and social havoc caused by climate change will make the world more unstable, less secure and will increase competition for scarce resources like water and food,” he said.

Ramaphosa said Africa is taking steps to ensure its own climate change resilience.

“As African countries, we cannot be bystanders to our own development. We are putting the necessary measures in place to de-carbonise our respective economies while pursuing sustainable development.

“The transformation of the energy landscape in Africa is a priority. As African countries, we have called on the international community to support efforts to increase the continent’s renewable energy capacity while ensuring energy security for Africa’s people,” Ramaphosa said.

“This needs to take place alongside increased investment in smart, digital and efficient green technologies in carbon-intensive sectors such as transportation, industry and electricity.”

He said said while South Africa remains committed to “contributing our fair share to the global climate change effort”, the circumstances of developing countries “must be taken into account”.

“To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, unity of purpose and action between countries is vital … Ultimately, no country should be forced to choose between climate action and meeting their developmental aspirations,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

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