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Africa & World
May 7 2012 3:47PM
 
Minister on international mission to save the planet
Nkoana-Mashabane and Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah.picture Jacoline Prinsloo
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Kim Helfrich

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane spent the weekend in the German city of Bonn wearing her climate change hat working for the creation of a legal instrument to ensure international adherence to prevent an excessive global temperature rise.

As president of COP17 to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban in December, she still holds the chair until this year's gathering.

One of the major agreements to come out of the Durban gathering was the establishment of an ad-hoc working group on what is now officially termed the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.

This group, comprising 45 countries, met in Bonn to pave the way for "a protocol, legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force and applicable to all parties" to keep the rise in average global temperature below the 2°C mark department spokesperson Clayson Monyela said.

Making the gathering more important is that it aims to ensure this happens within the next three years and is implemented from 2020 onwards.

While many countries have indicated their willingness to commit to measures aimed at decreasing the rate of global temperature rise, the US, along with Canada, have to date remained out of the circle of volunteers.

Nkoana-Mashabane and the 45 other countries, who have committed at ministerial level to the Durban Platform, also explored options on mitigating climate change during the German meeting.

"It is hoped the Bonn meeting will be able to ensure the highest possible mitigation efforts by all parties," Monyela said.

"The meeting also assessed realities that need to be met and was looking to renew commitments made in Durban to address urgent climate change challenges.

This includes an urgent and effective global response to keep the rise in average global temperature below the goal of 1.5-2°C."

kimh@thenewage.co.za

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