Creative Consulting & Development Works

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SA to host Cop17 Conference

25 October 2011

While there’s much anticipation around Cop17, the conference has inspired Creative Consulting & Development Works to consider the impact of local initiatives to address climate change. But before we tackle this challenging task, let’s briefly introduce the Cop17 Conference:


What is Cop17?

Cop17 is the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It will include the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the *Kyoto Protocol.


South Africa to host Cop17

This year the Conference of the Parties will be held in Durban, South Africa from 28 November to 9 December 2011. The South African Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will serve as the President of COP17 as is customary of host nations. At the recent preparatory meeting of the UNFCCC in Panama (October 1-7, 2011) UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres highlighted the role of the President of Cop17. According to Figueres, Nkoana-Mashabane’s participation and guidance in the consultations with governments and civil society on financing challenges for climate change initiatives has already produced inclusive and transparent results.


What is the aim of Cop17?

Since the UNFCCC entered into force in 1995, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC have been meeting annually to assess progress in dealing with climate change. The COP adopts decisions and resolutions, published in reports of the COP. Successive decisions taken by the COP make up a detailed set of rules for practical and effective implementation of the Convention.

Who attends Cop17?

Thousands of participants from government representatives to observer organisations take part in sessions. The COP 15 in Copenhagen in 2009 attracted over 24,000 delegates, including some 10,590 government officials, over 13,000 representatives of UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and 3,221 accredited media members. COP16 /CMP 6 in Cancun last year had over 11,800 participants.

What big decisions are expected this year?

The main question this year is whether the Kyoto Protocol should be extended or abandoned. The main feature of the * Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialised contries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

According to a report published in M&G this week, analysts agree that a binding agreement is unlikely. The weekly newspaper reported that “although an agreement is unlikely, negotiators are pushing for clarity on a second comittment period for Kyoto”.

In the next while, we’ll be considering what is being done at government level, how Africa is particularly vulnerable to drought, famine and flooding, building resilience, how to better orchestrate efforts and how each of us can change our lifestyles today to make a difference. Let us know what you think of Cop17 here now!

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