The host country of the ongoing Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP17), South Africa is delighted being the host nation, says the South African Environmental Affairs minister, Ms. Edna Molewa.
She expressed delight in hosting the conference believing it’s a special significant as there is need to renew and revise the Kyoto Protocol become urgent as the 17th edition of the conference happening on the African soil.
"Africa has contributed least to the buildup of greenhouse gases globally but will be in the frontline of the adverse effects of climate change," she said, stressing they are highly dependent on climate sensitive sectors such as rain-fed agriculture.
According to a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, the minister said average African generates about 13 times less green house gases than his counterpart in North America. She affirmed that the continent accounted for less than 4 per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 and highlighted the challenges in the continent as to decouple economic and social development from the burning fossil fuels and deforestation to an extent which has no precedent in the developed world.
"Africa needs to embark on a path of sustainable development with new, clean, appropriate technologies and to build climate resilient communities, so as to avoid the environmental mistakes of the developed world,” she said.
Further, she affirmed that 550 million Africans do not have access to electricity; the minister said there is enormous scope for the continent to becoming a world leader in the development of renewable energy sources.
She pointed out that recent research by the South Africa's National Climate Change Response (NCCR) White Paper published last October, the research report suggests an overall decrease in water availability that might threaten human health and agriculture in the country in years to come.
And spelling famine for many is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change foreseeing yields from rain-fed agriculture being reduced by 50 per cent by as soon as 2020.
With South African government recognizing its post as the major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions on the continent with 38 per cent, the South African's NCCR paper stated the government’s commitment to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 34 per cent below a business as usual trajectory in 2020 and a further 40 per cent in 2025.'Yinka Awosanya
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