[Debate] (Fwd) Manuel double-talk on climate finance, jobs
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Mon Aug 29 17:41:01 BST 2011
(How's this for a non-sequitur: "Manuel says SA MUST not abandon its
labour- intensive industries in its climate change mitigation and
adaptation strategy." And this: Manuel wants $2 billion/year climate
debt to be paid to SA - not the other way around.)
'Keep focus on labour needs' in climate plan
Manuel says SA MUST not abandon its labour- intensive industries in its
climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy
Published: 2011/08/26 08:05:33 AM
SA MUST not abandon its labour- intensive industries in its climate
change mitigation and adaptation strategy, Planning Minister Trevor
Manuel said yesterday.
At the 2009 United Nations (UN) climate change negotiations in
Copenhagen, SA undertook to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 34% from
business as usual by 2020, and 42% by 2025 --- subject to "adequate
financial and technical support".
Durban is to host the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change in November. SA, however, has still not
formalised its response to climate change, with the government missing
its June-July deadline to release a white paper on the subject.
Speaking at a World Wildlife Fund climate finance symposium in
Johannesburg yesterday, Mr Manuel noted that Australia had introduced a
carbon tax, and said SA was "watching it with interest because their
situation is similar, their economic base is similar".
Mr Manuel, however, warned that SA needed to maintain its
Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat echoed Mr Manuel's
comments: "We need to find a sustainable development path, one which
takes into account the need for economic growth, job creation and
He said that this was likely to be more difficult after the economic
downturn in 2008 and the structural changes that followed.
"And if there is a double dip, then there will only be one speed ---
slowing down," Mr Momoniat said.
Even without the threat of a second recession, adapting for and
mitigating climate change would be difficult, he said.
"Change is likely to be a painful process. There is a lot of anger in
(the country) about inequality, rising prices, an absence of leadership.
We need to address the cost of change and who is going to bear it," Mr
Two of SA's largest emitters are in the energy sector --- Sasol and
Eskom. "That defines our economic path, it defines the economy. It's who
we are," Mr Manuel said. "But it's unsustainable and change must happen,
but it's not going to be straightforward and easy ... it's going to have
serious costs for the economy."
Jeff Zingel, a development social scientist and institutional economist,
said one of the main problems was a lack of strategic direction.
"The 2010 green paper (on climate change) was poorly quantified....
Regarding finance, it lacked specific quantified proposals on any ideal
proportional contribution of public, private and official development
finance," Mr Zingel said.
"A cohesive and co-ordinated national strategy is needed across
government to effectively leverage new sources of climate finances."
National Business Initiative director of climate change and energy
Valerie Geen said companies that were monitoring and disclosing their
carbon emissions had not been doing so because of legislation.
They had done it for other reasons, such as concerns for their
reputation as well as leveraging that "green" reputation to be more
competitive in the marketplace, Ms Geen said.
wilds at bdfm.co.za
SA to benefit should climate funding target be met, Manuel says
By: Christy van der Merwe
25th August 2011
If the proposed Green Climate Fund committee were able to raise the
$100-billion-a-year targeted for disbursement among developing countries
by 2020, South Africa stood in line to receive between $1-billion and
$2-billion of that amount, Minister in The Presidency Responsible for
the National Planning Commission Trevor Manuel reports.
As a disclaimer, Manuel added that the "if" was a "big if", because, as
a part of the transitional committee aiming to raise fast-start finance
under the climate regime, he realised that it was "easier extracting
teeth than getting them [developed countries] to part with their money."
"It is going to be a world where there isn't much sympathy, where
wealthy countries are not going to be taking any prisoners, but it does
require us to position ourselves, so that we can benefit."
South Africa would also need to think about how it would extract and use
those resources to drive the changes that the country requires. Strong
project plans and the capacity to carry those out would be required,
while the appropriate legal and financial instruments would also need
solid governance arrangements.
Manuel said that South Africa should not wait for other countries to
start moving towards a low-carbon economy, and should fixate on the
technicalities of the global climate change negotiations. Instead the
country needed to focus on changing its energy intensity, as well as
diversifying its sources of energy to a more sustainable mix.
"We must understand that it is unsustainable and change must happen, but
we recognise that it is not going to be straightforward and its not
going to be easy. In fact, it will be painful and involve some pretty
serious costs too."
South Africans had to come to grips with why it had it energy-intensive
industries and then seek to move from reacting to challenges to
One of the first changes that required focus, was a change of price.
"How do we begin to include emissions in the price of energy? What
measure do we want to put on government spending and R&D into alternate
energy sources?" he questioned.
These changes would likely be painful and take place in an environment
where there was a lot of anger about rising costs, Therefore South
Africa needed to engage not only with government and those
nongovernmental organisations attuned to the climate challenge, but with
the whole of society and with labour unions.
"Ours is not just the technical responsibility, it is the societal
responsibility, we have to drive this change. In some respects, the fact
that we are hosting COP 17 does present us with this opportunity," he said.
South Africa would host the two-week long global climate negotiations --
the seventeenth conference of the parties (COP 17) under the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Durban from November.
Manuel said that what COP17 ought to be about was "how we can change
society's response to issues of climate and to our own contributions to
what is wrong".
Manuel said that if stakeholders did not take this opportunity to change
who responds to climate issues, and how they respond, "we will have failed."
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