Ramaphosa: Commitments Made at Climate Change Conference Must be Honoured
Ramaphosa: Commitments Made at Climate Change Conference Must be Honoured. Photo: The Presidency

President Cyril Ramaphosa has told world leaders at the United Nations climate talks that commitments made during climate change negotiations must be honoured.

Delivering the country statement on Tuesday, the President said Africa needs to build adaptive capacity, foster resilience and address loss and damage, as agreed at Paris COP 21.

The two-day Climate Implementation Summit attended by world leaders, kicked off the 27th United Nations climate change conference (COP27). The conference is hosted by Egypt, which holds the COP27 presidency.

To achieve this, he said, the African continent will need a predictable, appropriate and at-scale funding stream and technological support.


This must support the continent’s right to development, international equity and transitions that are just and inclusive, said Ramaphosa.

“This places a great responsibility on developed economies to honour their commitments to those countries with the greatest need and that confront the greatest environmental, social and economic effects of climate change.

“The commitments that were made must be honoured because failing to honor these commitments, breaks, trust and confidence in the process,” the President said.

Multilateral development banks must be reformed

President Ramaphosa called for multilateral development banks to be reformed in order to meet the needs of developing economies for sustainable development and climate resilience.

He emphasised that a clear roadmap is needed to deliver on the Glasgow decision to double adaptation financing by 2025.

“At present, multilateral support is out of reach of the majority of the world’s population due to lending policies that are risk averse and carry onerous costs and conditionalities. Our emphasis must be on the health, well-being and food and water security of the most vulnerable.

“At a national level, South Africa is fully committed to achieving the most ambitious end of the mitigation range in our updated Nationally Determined Contribution,” the President said.

The President highlighted that South Africa is guided by a Just Transition Framework and an Investment Plan that outlines the enormous scale and nature of investments needed to achieve its decarbonisation goals over the next five years.

“We are already scaling up investment in renewable energy, and are on course to retire several of our ageing coal-fired power plants by the end of 2030,” the President said.

Referring to the COP 26 held in Glasgow last year, the President said that France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union offered support in the form of a Just Energy Transition Partnership.

“It is our hope that this partnership will offer a ground-breaking approach to funding by developed countries for the ambitious but necessary mitigation and adaptation goals of developing countries.

“South Africa reiterates its support for the Egyptian Presidency and its confidence in the successful outcomes of COP 27,” President Ramaphosa said.

Poor Nations Say Rich Polluters Must Pay for Climate Change

Meanwhile Reuters reports that leaders from poorer countries criticized wealthy governments and oil companies for driving global warming, using their speeches on Tuesday at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt to demand that they pay up for damages being inflicted on their economies.

Small island states already buffeted by increasingly violent ocean storms and sea-level rise called on oil companies to shell out some of their huge recent profits, while developing African states called for more international funds for adaptation.

“The oil and gas industry continues to earn almost 3 billion United States dollars daily in profits,” said Gaston Browne, Antigua’s prime minister, speaking at the conference on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States.

“It is about time that these companies are made to pay a global carbon tax on their profits as a source of funding for loss and damage,” he said. “While they are profiting, the planet is burning.”

SAnews.gov.za and Reuters