Durban has been chosen as the host city for next November’s critical climate conference – a year before the historic Kyoto Protocol expires. Greenpeace Africa welcomes the announcement calling it a unique opportunity for South Africa in the fight against global warming.
"As the hosting country, the South African government must seize this unique opportunity to push for a legally binding agreement to save the climate," said Michelle Ndiaye Ntab, the Executive Director for Greenpeace Africa.
“And the country's international climate leadership must be matched with a clear commitment to act on the domestic level to ensure a clean energy future."
Durban is to host the 17th meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties ("COP 17"), in November 2011.
"A great deal for the climate can be made in Durban next year, provided that South Africa seizes the opportunity to become a climate leader and takes responsibility for being the largest emitter on the African continent,” said Ndiaye Ntab.
Mock Climate Disaster in Mexico
Greenpeace activists protest in Mexico by creating a mock climate disaster scenario. Several cars are covered by water, representing floods that result from climate change. The activists also display a sign "Bienvenido - Welcome to Mexico". Mexico will be the venue of the 16th UNFCCC meeting (COP-16) this month. Greenpeace calls on the world politicians to resolve the climate crisis, after they have missed their opportunity at the recent Climate Summit in Copenhagen.
Currently the world is preparing to meet in Cancun, Mexico, ahead of next year’s crucial Durban meeting.
As Ndiaye Ntab noted, “Cancun is a key stepping stone towards a deal in South Africa. It is vital that the Mexican and South African governments continue to show a willingness to lead, while concentrating on building trust after Copenhagen.
“The world's governments need to choose whether they make big steps in Cancun and Durban towards a clean energy future, or stick to business as usual and the fossil fuel industry, risking climate chaos and its economic, social and environmental consequences.
Melita Steele, Climate Campaigner for Greenpeace Africa said: “Climate change threatens to have catastrophic impacts, and as the Kyoto Protocol first commitment period expires in 2012, the time for empty rhetoric has run out. Now is the time for action."