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Climate Change

Conference Index

Action Agenda - Response to Climate Change
Recalling that all 14 members states of the SADC are Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);

Reaffirming our commitment to the objective of the UNFCCC as stated in Article 2, that the ultimate objective is "the stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" and that "such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner."

Recognizing the threat of climate change and its consequences for all the world's countries, and in particular for the most vulnerable countries such as in the SADC region;
Acknowledging that the Kyoto Protocol adopted at the Third Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Japan in December 1997 was the first attempt to create legally-binding reduction commitments on the nations most responsible for this threat;

Aware however, that the reductions prescribed by the Kyoto Protocol are woefully inadequate in relation to the scientific work of the IPCC which indicates the need for greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions reductions in the order of a minimum of 60% globally against 1990 levels merely to stabilise rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse house gases at some new higher value;

Aware that initial communications from the Developed Country Parties indicate that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in these countries and that resource flows and technology transfer from these to developing countries have been negligible;

Also aware that the Kyoto Protocol leaves major issues unresolved, and that specific principles, rules and methodologies will have to be agreed to in the course of the forthcoming negotiations with regard to the adoption of the Clean Development Mechanism, Emissions Trading internationally and Joint Implementation regimes;

Further aware of the leadership taken at AGBM7 in August 1997 by the delegations from the Africa Group of nations in tabling principles for global equity and sustainability and;

Especially aware of the declaration of the 113 Heads of Government at the Aug/Sept 1998 Summit of the Non Aligned Movement on climate change which states inter alia that: " . . . Emission trading for implementation of such commitments can only commence after issues relating to the principles, modalities, etc of such trading, including the initial allocations of emissions entitlements on an equitable basis to all countries has been agreed upon by the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change . . . . ."

And noting the clarification this provides with respect to the fact that UNFCCC acknowledges that all countries have common but differentiated responsibilities to respond to climate change;

Further aware that the critical need for a breakthrough to be achieved in the climate negotiations, will only occur when the principles, rules and modalities establishing the global equity framework enabling a fully integrated and effective international response to climate change, are realised;

We the Members of Parliament and Members of GLOBE Southern Africa;

  1. Support the adoption of a mandate at Buenos Aires to redefine the way in which greenhouse emission cuts are shared between countries under the Kyoto Protocol, following instead the principle of global equity enshrined in the Contraction and Convergence analysis,
  2. Specifically work to ensure that all future development of the UNFCCC and its related instruments will be consistent with these interdependent principles of global equity and sustainability;
  3. And rebut any recourse to "flexibility mechanisms" that are not derived from the interdependent application of these principles of sustainability and global equity;
  4. In the light of the above, we will undertake actions such as:
  • holding debates in our parliament to review our countries’ strategy for Buenos Aires regarding how our country will fulfill the commitments we have signed up to in Kyoto;
  • strengthen the capacity of the SADC Environmental Land Management System (ELMS) to integrate the Objective of the UNFCCC into national and regional natural resource management policies;
  • urge Ministers in the region to develop a regional consensus position with regard to climate change for tabling at or before the Fourth Conference of the Parties (COP4);
  • press to have GLOBE Parliamentarians as members of our various countries' delegations to the Fourth and subsequent Conferences of the Parties (COP4) to the UNFCCC;
  • call upon our parliamentary colleagues from all parties and from all countries to work with us and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), in striving to achieve the objectives of this Action Agenda.