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South Africa upbeat Paris climate talks will bear fruits

UN sponsored climate talks got underway in France’s capital Paris this week with Africa’s top climate change negotiators upbeat that they will get a legally binding agreement this year.

Early ahead of the talks South African negotiators were not sure exactly how much money they want donors to put in to help developing countries adopt climate-friendly strategies.

A spokesman for South African President Jacob Zuma, said that they are confident they will reach a negotiated, legally-binding agreement in Paris.

“The goal is to limit carbon emission,” said Bongani Majola who is the spokesman for Mr Zuma.

One of the negotiators’ demands is a cap on the average global temperature increase of more than two degrees Celsius, a threshold that scientists have identified as a kind of point of no return on climate change.

However Agathe Maupin, who is researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs the science behind the reduction of temperature is tricky.

“The two-degree benchmark is merely an estimate that could vary widely from location to location,” says the scientist

“Giving specifics on temperature can be a monumental task she adds.”

For Majola it is similarly hard to nail down what seem to be vital and specific figures — like how much African nations want developed countries to contribute towards friendly energy sources.

The spokesman says it is difficult to determine from which countries the money will come from and how much. But he hopes countries will contribute according to their economic size. President Zuma is at the Paris talks representing a country that is Africa’s biggest polluter and has the second-biggest economy.

But also he chairs the Group of 77 plus China — and the latter is the world’s largest polluter and a vital South African trade partner. And he plays a key role in the economic bloc known as BRICS, for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

South Africa has admitted that the climate change is seriously taking a toll on Africa and is hurting agriculture, livelihoods and food security.

But world’s top Naturalist and filmmaker David Attenborough believes that a solution to climate change in the world today is tapping the solar energy. Speaking on the sideline of the Paris climate talks, Mr. Attenborough wondered how America could but a man on the moon then scientists working together should be able to solve the climate change issue.

Most experts say that no one technology is likely to be a silver bullet. Solar, for example, is effective only when the sun is out and in countries where sun is plentiful.

South Africa hosted the 2011 climate talks, which some experts say marked a turning point in the conversation by allowing poorer nations — like African nations — to have more of a say.

Even as the climate talks continues in the cloudy skies of Paris, the over 150 participants are hopeful that this time round a lasting solution will be found.

Source : constructionreviewonline.com
Posted On: 12/1/2015 12:00:00 AM

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