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World needs action on climate change

President Jacob Zuma
“’ an appeal for action
Durban, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 07 December 2011 – The world needs to move away from analysing and studying climate change and towards identifying practical adaptation actions, says President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

“There can be no dispute that research and analysis are important aspects of adaptation actions, nevertheless we now need more practical action,” Zuma said during the opening of the high level segment of the 17th Conference of the Parties (Cop17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

There was a need for the world to start implementing actions on the ground, Zuma said. “In this regard, an Adaptation Committee must be constituted, and its functions must be decided upon so that it can begin its work.”

He expressed the belief that the committee would help bring into focus what needed to be done for the world to adapt to climate change. “The committee must bring an end to the current fragmented approach to adaptation in the convention,” Zuma said.

He went on to say that there was an urgent need for the green climate fund to begin. Zuma admitted that the early capitalisation of the fund would be difficult as many countries were facing economic problems. He told delegates there was a need to show the world that parties were ready to address the problems in a practical way.

“There is a need for countries to rise above their national interests, no matter how difficult,” Zuma said. “There is a need to build trust and to re-assure one another of honest intent and commitment to finding solutions to climate change,” he added.

“By now all of us understand that Durban is a decisive moment for the future of the multilateral, rules-based regime, which has evolved over many years under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol,” he said. "It is also clear that if this question is not resolved, the outcome on other matters will become extremely difficult,” Zuma declared.

The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol agreed in Cancun in 2005 comes to an end next year.