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					insessi n              Special
"Celebrating the legacy of freedom through strengthening the link between Parliament and the people"   Vol. 11   DECEMBER EDITION 2011

Climate Change Edition                                 Durban
                                                         rescue Kyoto
                            Vision Statement
                            To build an effective people’s Parliament that is
                            responsive to the needs of the people and that is

                                                                                              Black Rod of National Council of Provinces
                            driven by the ideal of realising a better quality of
                            life for all the people of South Africa.
Mace of National Assembly

                            Mission Statement
                            As the freely elected representatives of the people of
                            South Africa, our Mission is to represent, and to act as a
                            voice of the people, in fulfilling our Constitutional functions
                            of passing laws and overseeing executive action.

                            Strategic Objectives
                            1.   Oversee executive action
                            2.   Build a People's Parliament
                            3.   Strengthen co-operative government
                            4.   Improve international participation
                            5.   Build an efficient, effective institution
5   EditOR’S NOTE                                             8
    Cedric Frolick, House Chairperson for Committees

    Raseriti Tau, House Chairperson for Oversight and
    Institutional Support

    Mlungisi Johnson

    Gareth Morgan

Special report
10 - 28
    In our Special Report we say that the Durban Climate
    Change Conference, like the green gem on Pretoria
    station, still produced a worthwhile legacy. It did not
    leave a vacuum. And although the first priorities for
    Africa, and other developing countries, may be a little
    different from the developed world, we put them on
    the table at COP17 in concert with our African brothers
    and sisters.


                                                                  PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

Presiding Officers
Mr Max Sisulu
Mr Mninwa Mahlangu
Ms Nomaindia Mfeketo
Ms Thandi Memela
Accounting Officer
Zingile Dingani
Luzuko Jacobs
Kagisho Mamabolo
Copy Editor
Oswald Gibson
Writers: Elijah Moholola, Foster Mohale,
Sakhile Mokoena, Abel Mputing, Faith Kwaza,
Temba Gubula
design and Layout
Angelo Lamour
Mlandeli Puzi, UN photo, GCIS, KZN Legislature
Jacqueline Zils
Parliament of the Republic of South Africa
INSESSION is a monthly publication, which
is published by the Information and Content
Development Unit of the Parliamentary
Communication Services of the Parliament of the
Republic of South Africa. All material published is
copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without
the written permission of the publisher.

Copy intended for publication must reach the
editor’s desk before 12:00 on the 5th day of each
month. Please note that the editor reserves the
right to edit, shorten or not to publish letters.
telephone: (021) 403 8243, Fax (021) 403 8096
Post: PO Box 15, Cape Town, 8000

To build an effective people’s Parliament that is
responsive to the needs of the people and that is
driven by the ideal of realising a better quality of
life for all the people of South Africa.
As the freely elected representatives of the
people of South Africa, our mission is to represent,
and act as a voice of the people, in fulfilling
our Constitutional functions of passing laws and
overseeing executive action.
Our values guide the management of Parliament.
Our values are formed by that which we treasure
and hold dear. It forms the foundation that will
give rise to policies, which provide guidance in the
implementation of everyday services and projects.
The values of Parliament are derived from the role
that Parliament plays in the context of our democracy.
Therefore our values are formed by the people of
South Africa, the Constitution, our cooperation with
other arms of government, and our will to act with
professionalism and good institutional governance.

                   editor’s note
A       small forest is growing on the platform of Pretoria’s central train station. Through it a
        small walkway is carved out amongst the trees, bushes and small plants. For weeks
before the COP17 Climate Change summit in Durban groups of learners and visitors were led
through the foliage as part of the diverse activities offered by the Climate Train, which set off
from Cape Town on its journey across South Africa on 28 October, destination Durban and COP
17. En route at Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Potchefstroom, Makhado,
Pretoria, Vereeniging, Kroonstad and Ladysmith, experts presented environmental talks and
activities. Like the train itself, visitors stopped at “stations” along the Pretoria platform where
different activities and aspects of environmental awareness were explored.

In our Special Report we say that the Durban Climate Change Conference, like the green gem on Pretoria
station, still produced a worthwhile legacy. It did not leave a vacuum. And although the first priorities for
Africa, and other developing countries, may be a little different from the developed world, we put them
on the table at COP17 in concert with our African brothers and sisters.

When South Africa’s business people, environmental experts, government and political leaders and
scientists converged at Parliament in Cape Town beforehand for a two-day Climate Change seminar to
consider inter alia how South Africa and the African continent could speak with one voice at the COP17
talks, it became clear that they did not expect miracles. Speakers agreed that unless Durban produced
a favourable outcome the weaker countries would remain weak, and could even slip further behind.
“Unless we act, there will be more serious consequences. Daily we are witnessing and feeling the impact
of climate change, from the heartbreaking famine in Somalia to the floods in Pakistan. There has been
devastation in Thailand, and even South Africa,” National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu warned the

South Africa’s Minister of International Relations, Ms Maite Nkoane-Mshabane, also expected the talks in
Durban to be tough. The UN climate negotiations in South Africa had to broach the big question that was
left virtually untouched in Cancun in 2010: what happens once the Kyoto Protocol and its legal framework
for carbon curbs expires in 2012? “It had to be discussed in Durban,” said the Minister.

Delegates argued that South Africa should not take any responsibility as the host for failure: “The Kyoto
Protocol should not be buried in Africa,” was the consensus. In the interim the South African Parliament
should ensure that all government budget votes contained reference to climate change adaptation and
mitigation before they were passed.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon summed it up at the start of the high level segment negotiations:
grave economic troubles in many countries were bound to impact on the chance of success in Durban. In
a nutshell, many nations and their leaders continued to face overwhelming economic problems at home,
compounded by abiding political differences, he said. Add to that conflicting priorities and strategies for
responding to climate change, and it was quite remarkable that there was any progress at all.

“We must pull back from the abyss. You are the people to pull us back from the edge,” Ban said. On the
future of the Kyoto Protocol, the UN leaders said it was the closest thing the world had to a global binding
agreement. “While Kyoto alone will not solve today’s climate problem, (but) it is a foundation to build on,
with important institutions. It provides the framework that markets sorely need,” he stressed.

Dr Agostinho Zacarias: UN Resident Coordinator and South Africa’s UNDP Resident Representative said
Durban should be remembered for its achievements, rather than its failings. A second Kyoto did not
emerge from Durban, but neither did it perish there. At the very least, Durban’s COP17 shone a light on
the road ahead.

Enjoy the read!
Kagisho Mamabolo

                                                    PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA                  5

                                            MESSAGE FROM THE

    House Chairperson of the National Assembly,
    Cedric Frolick

    The                role that Parliament has played in the Durban Climate Change Summit is complex says House
                       Chairperson of the National Assembly, Cedric Frolick: but it is imperative that Parliaments keep
    the citizens abreast of events.

    COP17 is a meeting of heads of State, government leaders and political decision-makers, getting together to confirm
    or endorse the discussions of chief negotiators from various countries. COP17 is essentially a governmental process
    under the auspices of the United Nations, with thousands sitting in on the negotiations. Therefore, in terms of the
    developmental approach and broader societal objectives, it is imperative that Parliaments also be part and parcel of the
    process, especially in terms of oversight.

    Oversight is not the only role of Parliament: we are part of the Southern African Development Conference (SADC) region,
    and our multilateral affairs with other Parliaments in our sphere are vital to us. It is right for parliamentarians to be part
    of the international discussions alongside governments because all the agreements and commitments reached there will
    need to be ratified by the Parliaments.

    The role of a Parliament is, through the legislators, to engage with the government and to determine exactly where
    this process is headed and what is currently happening. For this, we created a political advisory team. We also have a
    steering committee to look at what we can do together in terms of recycling, conservation of energy, and to link up with
    relevant government departments.

    In terms of the Constitution, Parliament’s mandate is to make laws, exercise effective oversight over the Executive’s
    actions and to ensure public participation in all processes. Parliament must assess the impact of the above on the life of
    ordinary citizens: is it really succeeding in the quest to create a better life for all, in terms of COP17? Thus, it has become
    crucial for Parliament to play an active role not only in terms of attending the event but also in preparing for it.

    Parliaments around the world have started doing groundbreaking work. Their aim is to have their voices heard in
    these international United Nations events: not in competition with their Executives, but rather complementing and
    supplementing what they do.

    One of our first aims was to raise the awareness levels of Members of Parliament of the nature of the challenges
    affecting humanity as a result of climate change

    Secondly, as part of raising awareness, our role has also been to train and equip members so that when we interact with
    our community and our stakeholders locally and internationally we must be able to articulate the position of South Africa
    around these issues

    Thirdly, we ask what proactive role Parliament can play in hearing the voices of people outside. Apart from Parliament’s
    views on the White Paper on Climate Change as developed by the Executive, we have conducted public hearings, where
    we heard what the people said, and were able to check if their views and concerns were captured appropriately in the
    White Paper. What remains is to oversee the implementation of the White Paper, post-COP17.

    During our consultative seminar on climate change, the view from the public was very supportive in terms of South
    Africa’s position. When we talked to ordinary people they had very little interest in all the jargon that was thrown
    around. To demystify the discussions around climate change we made use of print and the electronic media, ie radio and
    television stations. We have partnered with an NGO Indala Yethu. Their train left Cape Town on 28 October and engaged
    with local communities along the way, en route to Durban. In this way we have not only heard the outside voices, but
    kept our own response simple and effective.
                                                                                                                Mr Cedric Frolick
                                                                                 HOUSE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLy


                                       MESSAGE FROM THE
                                       national council
House Chairperson of the National Council
of Provinces, Raseriti Tau
                                                              of provinces
 As           a representative of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) there are definitely issues and concerns
              that I would like to see on the Climate Change agenda. Predictably, I am concerned about the message
 getting to non-urban areas

  The NCOP takes its mandate from the Constitution: in a word, it must represent and profile the interest of provinces,
  and local municipalities, at the national level. For us, what is important is the capacity or the ability of our local
  municipalities, particularly those in the rural areas: how can COP17 address the issues that are affecting our rural

  We can best do that by building capacity at the level of the local municipalities, of course with the support of the
  provincial government. Of fundamental importance to us as the NCOP, is that we would want to see aspects that affect
  the rural communities and especially rural municipalities, topping the agenda of COP17.

  With regard to the challenges that are facing local municipalities and particularly those in the rural areas, I think that
  the issues can be prioritised. We have to localize the debate on climate change and move away from the elite academic
  debate. What are we talking about? The provision of clean running water: do they have the capacity to do that? How
  do we ensure that they are able to navigate their challenges? And if we talk about clean running water, for obvious
  reasons, the element of skills will then come in. Do we have enough skills in these municipalities to be able maintain
  the reservoirs and see to it that people can continue to draw water from unpolluted rivers.

  We talk about the environment; do we have proxy in the rural municipalities? Do we have the capacity to go out there
  and educate our people around the environment? It inevitably goes back to capacity in rural municipalities. Is there
  somebody responsible for the environment in the rural municipality, who would be responsible for educating young
  people about the importance of trees? If one tree can give oxygen to about 40 people, what does it mean in a rural

  So the challenge of capacity, knowledge, skills in the rural municipality, of course will be an issue which I believe must
  receive the primary attention of COP17. Whether you look at it in South Africa or beyond: If you look at Africa, where
  do you find the bulk of our people? In the rural communities! And if we, at cop 17, are unable to address those capacity
  challenges for local municipalities, then it must and will create serious problems.

  In South Africa, we would definitely want to see the issue of the capacity of our municipalities through skills
  development, funding and of course knowledge in those municipalities. I think it will take us a long way.

  The legacy I would love to leave is to say that not only was I there at the COP17 summit, I contributed towards
  the sustainability and development of our environment. I ensured that my contribution is also positive to you as a
  generation that comes after me. I should not be selfish; I would want to make a positive contribution by ensuring that
  I plant trees, to ensure that our rivers and our valleys are clean. I would love to see myself driving a car that does not
  contribute to carbon overdose. I would love to leave a legacy where I have contributed to a better environment. Where
  my kids and grandchildren can enjoy life and say “thank you” when they look at those things and say yes, it is true, our
  ancestors contributed positively to sustaining our environment.

                                                                                                          Mr Raseriti tau
                                                                   HOUSE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROvINCES

                                                                            PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA         7

      by Mlungisi Johnson

    Societies                            will increasingly need to mitigate the
                                         negative consequences of a changing
    climate and to adapt to future climatic regimes, especially developing
                                                                                        first strategic tasks of the Convention
                                                                                        was to establish national greenhouse
                                                                                        gas inventories of greenhouse gas
                                                                                        emissions, used to create the 1990
    countries like South Africa. Our country is not only a victim of the impacts of
                                                                                        benchmark levels for accession
    climate change, but also a major contributor to the process, owing to its high      of Annex 1 countries to the Kyoto
    emissions profile. South Africa is the 13th major greenhouse gas emitter in         Protocol and for the commitment of
    the world and it ranks 10th in terms of per capita emissions globally.              those countries to greenhouse gas
                                                                                        reductions. Updated inventories must
                                                                                        be regularly submitted by Annex 1
    Domestic policy processes culminate         mechanisms. In that sense, the          countries.
    in a National Climate Change                Convention is considered legally
    Response White Paper. Since the             non-binding. Instead, the Convention    South Africa acceded to the Kyoto
    ratification of the Convention of           provides for updates, commonly          Protocol, in June 2001, although it is
    Parties in 1997 South Africa has been       called protocols, which would set       not an Annex 1 country, meaning that
    involved in multilateral processes          mandatory emission limits. In this      it is not legally required to commit to
    that seek to bring under control            regard, the principal update is the     emission reduction targets under the
    the negative impacts of climate             Kyoto Protocol, which is better known   Kyoto Protocol. South Africa’s stated
    change. Thus, the presiding officers        than the UNFCCC itself.                 intention to mitigate climate change
    of Parliament felt compelled to send                                                derives from its unique position in the
    a delegation to the UN’s Conference         The UNFCCC was opened for               climate change regime. For example,
    of Parties, generally known as COP16,       signature, after an Intergovernmental   South Africa is Africa’s biggest emitter
    in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of            Negotiating Committee produced the      of greenhouse gases, despite the
    last year. The delegation reports the       text of the Framework Convention        fact that emissions from the African
    following:                                  as a report, following its meeting      continent are low and expected to
                                                in New York in April/May 1992. The      remain low for the immediate future.
    The United Nations Framework                Convention entered into force on
    Convention on Climate Change                21 March 1994, and comprised 194        It is important to note that the
    (UNFCCC or FCCC) is a multilateral          Parties in December 2010. One of the    UNFCCC is also the name of the United
    environmental treaty produced by                                                    Nations Secretariat responsible for
    the United Nations Conference on                                                    supporting the operation of the
    Environment and Development                                                         Convention, with its offices in Bonn,
    (UNCED), also known as the Earth                                                    Germany. The Secretariat, augmented
    Summit, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in                                               through the parallel efforts of
    1992. The objective was to stabilize                                                the Intergovernmental Panel on
    greenhouse gas concentrations in                                                    Climate Change (IPCC), aims to gain
    the atmosphere at a level that would                                                international consensus around
    prevent dangerous interference                                                      Climate Change matters through
    by man with the earth’s climate                                                     meetings and the discussion of
    system. The Convention itself sets                                                  various strategies.
    no mandatory limits on greenhouse
    gas emissions for individual countries                                              Mlungisi Johnson led Parliament’s
    and contains no enforcement                                                         delegation to COP 16 in Mexico


i put the
  A selection of questions from Parliament

                           Change is also reflected in the Questions that are
                                                                                        Mr Gareth Morgan (DA)

                                                                                  than dealing with the devastating
                           being asked by various political parties in Parliament impacts of climate-induced changes
                                                                                        on our tourism destination later.
                                                                                        Not only will unmitigated climate
                                                                                        change lead to direct damage costs
Mr Gareth Morgan (dA) asked                California’s conversion registration of      to infrastructure, but there could
the Minister of Water and                  self- constructed electric vehicles?         also be indirect costs - in particular
Environmental Affairs Ms Edna                                                           so for a destination of which the
Molewa whether her department              the Minister of Energy replied: At           competitiveness depends on the
remains committed to achieving a           this stage we are researching the            environment and the climate itself.
second commitment period under the         electric vehicle and its applicability
Kyoto Protocol at the COP17 climate        in the South African context. SANEDI,        Mr Mzunani Sonto (ANC) asked
negotiations?                              Eskom and others are involved in             the Minister of Labour Ms Mildred
                                           this research, in collaboration with         Oliphant whether her department
the Minister replied: South Africa         the private sector. Until there is           and the entities reporting to her have
has indicated the importance of            clarity regarding the prospects and          implemented any energy-saving
resolving the second commitment            timing of the introduction of the            practices or devices for buildings,
period of the Kyoto Protocol in            electric vehicle, it is premature to         offices and boardrooms in the 2010-11
Durban. The first commitment period        be considering the introduction              financial year?
expires on 31 December 2012,               of legislation or other regulatory
although the Kyoto Protocol itself         instruments.                                 the Minister of Labour replied:
does not expire in 2012. If Parties do                                                  The Department of Public Works
not agree on the second commitment         Ms Makhosazana Njobe (COPE)                  as custodian of all state-owned
period in Durban there will be a gap       asked the Minister of tourism Mr             buildings initiated a project for the
between the commitment periods             Marthinus van Schalkwyk whether              implementation of energy-saving
and therefore Durban has to resolve        the proposed carbon tax will harm            devices in Laboria House and
this issue. We acknowledge that the        South Africa’s attraction as a tourist       Concillium Building in Pretoria in
protocol is under threat. As the only      destination because of its possible          the 2010/11 financial year. The first
current legally binding rules-based        negative effects on energy prices?           phase of replacing all light fittings
framework, it must be preserved. The                                                    with energy saving light fittings
Kyoto Protocol offers the requisite        the Minister answered: To avoid the          was completed in both buildings
legal mandate to reduce greenhouse         most devastating impacts of climate          and the second phase to install
gas emissions and keep the world           change - also on the tourism economy         timer/movement sensor switches
safe.                                      - and keep adaptation remotely               in the two buildings is in planning
                                           affordable, a global effort is needed        phase. A service provider was also
Mr Kenneth Sinclair (COPE) asked           to limit average temperature increase        appointed by the Department of
the Minister of Energy Ms dipuo            to below 2 ˚C above pre-industrial           Public Works to establish the current
Peters whether she intends to              levels. The tourism sector would have        utilization of energy in the buildings
introduce legislation on the conversion    to contribute its fair share to national     and to compile a report on where
of petrol and diesel-driven vehicles       and global efforts. It will be cheaper       possible further savings could be
into electric-driven vehicles similar to   to act now to reduce emissions, rather       implemented.

                                                                             PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA          9

                           by Elijah Moholola

     Apart                from its primary legislative and oversight
                          functions, Parliament has to play a bigger role in
     terms of educating citizens and creating awareness regarding climate
     change during and after the COP 17 conference. These were the shared
     views of two portfolio committee chairpersons – Mr Johnny de Lange
     (Water and Environmental Affairs) and Mr Sisa Njikelana (Energy) –
     ahead of Durban.

     Parliament’s role will extend far beyond     “If people have the capacity, firstly
     ensuring that the White Paper gets           in terms of resources and in terms of
     implemented, says Adv De Lange.              knowledge, to respond to the things that
     “Parliament’s two main tasks are             are going to happen as climate change
     firstly to be the legislative authority of   worsens and starts becoming adverse,
     this country, in other words, to make        the best weapon we have is for the
     laws which are of a national impact          people to know how to respond,” he
     and secondly to ensure that there is         said. The Japan tsunami was an example
     accountability.”                             of how an educated and aware public
     With the first function having been          could best respond to natural disasters
     implemented through the drafting of the      arising from climate change.
     White Paper, it was now important that
     Parliament kept the public in the loop       He further said it was important for
     regarding climate change.                    measures to be put in place to ensure
                                                  the best response in cases of natural
     “Over and above that (legislative and        disasters such as floods, droughts,
     accountability functions) there is a big     diseases and food shortages – which
     education and awareness-making job.          were all possible ramifications of climate
     Parliament has to really let our citizens    change.
     know what the issues are, what are
     we are doing about them and what do          “We haven’t even started looking at
     we expect from our citizens. Because         what our response is going to be to huge
     although all these policies are important,   crises that develop out of this. So we
     the most important tool to fight climate     have to then look at that micro-problem
     change is to capacitate people to be able    and try and see how we’re going to deal
     to respond to climate change,” said Mr
     De Lange.
                                                  IN DURBAN MODE: SA Environmental
     It was vital to have public awareness        Affairs Minister Edna Molewa (centre right
                                                  in green) & Deputy President Kgalema
     in dealing with the effects of climate       Motlanthe (centre) dressed for COP17



     with those things as a country. What         being enhanced beyond what is being          left of the Kyoto Protocol and use that
     happens suddenly for all the millions        practised, right away. We would like         as a basis to move forward because the
     of people in Zimbabwe, Mozambique,           to see as much paperless activity as         world village is very complex. In order
     when we have those kinds of floods           possible, replaced by information and        for the various countries to interact and
     we had there and they start streaming        communication technology facilities and      work together, they always need a tool
     across our borders? We have to deal with     practises. Those are among a few things      that they can use as they move forward.
     those problems as well. These are huge       that we are engaged in.”                     The African COP will be regarded as a
     questions and the more informed our                                                       watershed because at this stage the
     people are, the more capacitated, the        According to Mr Njikelana, events such       Kyoto Protocol is under spotlight. Some
     more orderly and disciplined will be our     as National Consultative Seminar on          of the aspects of the Kyoto Protocol
     responses to the adverse consequences        Climate Change, Globe International          are expiring at the end of 2012. It is
     of climate change, ” he said.                Legislators Forum and IPU Meeting            therefore expected that COP17 addresses
                                                  on Climate Change should take place          itself to those aspects that will expire
     Fellow chairperson Mr Njikelana said the     regularly after COP17. “All of them          next year, because there should be no
     process was already underway to ensure       might focus on COP17, but at the same        gap between now and any legally-
     that, with the government having             time they become a platform that goes        binding future outcome.
     started talks around climate change in       beyond COP17. Because of COP17, our
     2005. The public would finally be kept       Parliament’s involvement in climate          “In that sense, it is expected that this
     abreast of how they could be affected        change issues will never be the same         climate change conference leave a
     and what role they could play.               again: we will use COP17 as a platform       legacy of genuine commitment by all
                                                  to launch our engagement. We intend          world leaders, illustrating that they did
     “Because we are a people’s Parliament,       holding what one can call a post-            try their best to retain a bond, a tool that
     we have committed ourselves to embark        mortem, an evaluation of COP17 with          they commit to use to work together in
     on awareness campaigns in support and        the various stakeholders that participated   future interaction on climate change,”
     in coordination with the government          in the national consultative seminar.”       said Mr Njikelana.
     itself. In fact we have already started
     holding various interventions with the       Both had good expectations ahead of          Mr De Lange would like to see all
     media around climate change,” he said.       COP 17. Mr Njikelana said expectations       leaders to work together and rise above
                                                  were high that South Africa should           “their own narrow self interests” and
     Parliamentarians themselves were due         produce a good outcome from COP17.           make tough decisions. “What we really
     to embark on awareness campaigns.            “South Africa is globally regarded as        need is some world leaders that act
     “We will be going out to our various         a bridge-builder: that has come out in       like statesmen but are able to share
     constituencies to join hands with            various forums globally and was even         the bigger picture that is facing us as
     whatever activities are already in place     strongly articulated during COP15 in         a world. We seriously need people
     to further enhance awareness campaigns       Copenhagen. So obviously we are              that can rise above their own national,
     around climate change. In other words        marching towards COP17 with that at          narrow self interests. We have to sit
     we will explain to the ordinary person       the back of our minds. I must say that       down and decide what is the global
     what climate change is, its implications     I have confidence in our top team to         carbon footprint we’re going to agree
     and how as ordinary people they should       again provide this leadership at global      to and we then have to decide how
     respond to it. So in a sense, you can see    level. They have to do their best to         we’re going to divide that budget, that
     we’ve gone beyond the expectations of        bridge this growing gap between the          footprint amongst every nation and
     just coming out with a law, which will       developed and developing countries so        everyone’s duty to meet targets to keep
     still takes time,” said Mr Njikelana.        that we are able to have an outcome          that footprint below a certain target.”
                                                  that can make us confident to move
     He added that because of the need to         beyond COP17 and really have a tool          He added that the difficulty with
     be seen as one of the champions in           that will enable us to respond more          COP17 was that it came amidst a huge
     response to climate change, a process of     effectively to climate change,” Mr           economic crisis, with countries like
     greening Parliament had commenced.           Njikelana said.                              Greece and parts of Europe on the brink
                                                                                               of a financial meltdown.
     “We intend managing the carbon               He said an appeal by the African group of
     footprint of Parliament with the aim         negotiators was that Durban should not       The economic crisis had hit countries that
     of reducing it. We would like to see         be the graveyard of the Kyoto Protocol.      were strongest proponents of climate
     energy-saving activities improving and       “So we want to salvage whatever was          change.


                   Mr Sisa Njikelana, Chairperson of
                 the Portfolio Committee on Energy
                   talking to members of the public
                   about Parliament's role in COP17


         SA to
     should proactively step up
     mandates of government
     departments involved in climate
     change management, to ensure
     that the COP17 summit does not
     fade from memory

     The parliamentary delegation at the
     Cancun summit in Mexico last year
     has been pushing for Parliament to
     play a more meaningful role in the
     forthcoming climate change summit,
                                                  commitments and undertakings made         and facilitate South Africa’s presiding
     and help it get a more credible result.
                                                  during the summit.                        over COP17.
     The National Assembly recently
                                                  Although parliamentarians attended        The Parliament deemed it inappropriate
     adopted the report of the 2010 Mexico
                                                  the COP16 Climate Change summit in        to have no official membership
     delegation a few months prior to the
                                                  Cancun, Mexico, delegation leader Mr      status, while government and civil
     Conference of the Parties (COP17) of the
                                                  Mlungisi Johnson stressed that they       society organisations were granted
     United Nations Framework Convention
                                                  played a supporting and facilitating      membership status at the COP
     of Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the
                                                  role for the South African government     meetings.
     7th Kyoto Protocol Meeting of Parties,
                                                  negotiators. A South African delegation
     both of which will be held in Durban.
                                                  also attended COP15 in Copenhagen,
     The adoption comes shortly after the                                                   The eighth BASIC ministerial summit of
                                                  Denmark in 2009.
     government said they had informal                                                      environmental ministers from Brazil,
     consultations at ministerial, negotiator                                               South Africa, India and China repeated
                                                  Mr Johnson said they recommended
     and stakeholder levels on how to get                                                   the importance of a comprehensive,
                                                  establishing a parliamentary
     a credible outcome and provide an                                                      balanced and ambitious result in
                                                  Coordinating Forum on Climate Change,
     opportunity for civil society to exchange                                              Durban “in the context of sustainable
                                                  comprising Chairpersons of the relevant
     of views on the future and impact of                                                   development and in accordance with
                                                  Portfolio and Select Committees of
     the global climate regime.                                                             the provisions and principles of the
                                                  Parliament, and members of political
                                                                                            Convention.” Agreeing on the second
                                                  parties in the appropriate ratio, to
     President Jacob Zuma said the Durban                                                   commitment period was the central
                                                  coordinate cross-cutting climate change
     summit was “an opportunity to provide                                                  priority for Durban. If this failed,
                                                  activities in Parliament.
     leadership and political direction to                                                  it would generate a challenge to
     our negotiators, to address the more                                                   multilateralism and would undermine
                                                  This could help ensure that the country
     difficult political issues.” The President                                             the rules-based multilateral response
                                                  builds support for a legally-binding
     urged Ministers responsible for climate                                                to climate change under the UNFCCC,
                                                  treaty and reports to Parliament
     change to apply the principles of                                                      Ministers at the BASIC summit stressed.
                                                  regularly so that it can assess the
     multilateralism and environmental                                                      Held at Inhotim, Minas Gerais, it formed
                                                  overall progress. The delegation
     integrity in honouring all international                                               part of the run-up to COP17.
                                                  proposed to Parliament that it support

                                                                         COP17 :FEATURE
                                                WOMEN’S PARLIAMENT, AUGUST 2011 :FEATURE

                                Why Africa
                                                       calls with one voice
Adaptation,                         capacity building, mitigation:
                                    these are some of the priorities for
                                                                                    between these three have been
                                                                                    emphasized, and they are embedded
                                                                                    in international agreements that are
increased support to the continent agreed to by African Ministers who
                                                                                    relevant in preventing and controlling
met in Mali recently to craft a Declaration on Climate Change. A strong
                                                                                    land degradation.
emphasis emerged on the need for a holistic, all-Africa approach to the
threat of land degradation.                                                         Seen from the air, the decline of
by InSession staff                                                                  Africa’s once-green face has already
                                                                                    reached dramatic proportions: add
The interdependence of climate          sustainable development, but the            the burgeoning effects of climate
change, land degradation and            negative face of the tripartite factors     change and the tilt could be not only
biodiversity is recognized by the UN.   could threaten nothing short of             dramatic, but a permanent disaster.
Land, climate and biodiversity also     devastation, given the impetus. In          In other words, swathes of Africa
have overlapping roles in generating    three Rio Conventions the synergies         could soon be on the brink of not only

                                                                         PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA          15

     losing successive crops, but also the
     capacity to grow anything again, ever.

     The objective of the Framework
     Convention on Climate Change
     (UNFCCC) is to stabilize greenhouse
     gas (GHG) concentrations in the
     atmosphere at a level that prevents
     further human-induced global
     warming. The goal of the Convention
     to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
     is to curb land degradation and
     mitigate the effects of drought, which
     are likely to increase as a result of
     climate change. The UNCCD provides
     assistance to affected developing
     country Parties, particularly in Africa.
     The Convention entered into force in
     1996, and Conferences of the Parties
     (COPs) are now held every two years.
     The Convention on Biological Diversity
     (CBD) aims to conserve biodiversity,
     encourage the sustainable use of
     its components and promote the
     equitable sharing of benefits derived
     from their use.

     Africa’s common position at
     international Climate Change
     negotiations has remained unified.
     To consolidate the African agenda
     for a just and equitable solution to
     climate change, the region continues
     to be led and represented by one             BIG PICTURE: Speaker Max Sisulu also roped in the International Parliamentary Union
                                                  legislators on global environmental            negotiation process is based on
     An enormous amount of energy and             and sustainable development issues,            the established principles of equity
     resources has gone into preparing            including climate change, the defining         and common but differentiated
     for the work of the 17th Conference          challenge of our time. The table has           responsibilities, and respective
     of the Parties (COP17). In addition,         truly been set with care.                      capabilities. The Declaration also
     the South African Parliament hosted                                                         called for developed countries to
     an Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU)           The recently-approved Mali                     show leadership by raising the ante.
     meeting in Durban on climate change          Declaration on Climate Change
     on 5 December, and endorsed a draft          stresses the need for African                  Unless we act, there will be more
     declaration from the South African           countries to implement climate                 serious consequences. Daily we
     Parliament for presentation to the           change adaptation and mitigation               are witnessing and feeling the
     Conference of Parties on behalf of           programmes in a manner that                    impact of climate change, from the
     the IPU. South Africa also hosted the        will help achieve sustainable                  heartbreaking famine in Somalia to
     Globe International Legislators Forum        development, and the Millennium                the devastating floods in Pakistan,
     in Parliament on 3 and 4 December.           Development Goals. The key political           Thailand, including South Africa. Africa
     The main objective of this meeting is        message from Africa to inform the              is the most vulnerable global region
     to gain a clearer understanding among        global climate change debate and               and it will be destroyed first.