Tag Archives: South Africa

SEI policy brief: What drives South Africa’s approach to climate diplomacy?

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has published a policy brief by Aaron Atteridge analysing the domestic and international drivers that influence the way South Africa approaches climate change negotiations. It’s entitled “Multiple Identities: Behind South Africa’s Approach to Climate Diplomacy”.
Its key findings are that:

• In international climate negotiations, South Africa is widely seen as playing a “bridge-building” role between industrialised and developing countries. This is driven partly by a desire among the country’s post-apartheid leaders to promote South Africa as a responsible actor, a stable economy and a platform for foreign investment in Africa.

• President Jacob Zuma’s voluntary greenhouse gas emissions reduction pledge at COP15 in Copenhagen was seen domestically as the country “punching above its weight” in its contribution to global mitigation action. This reaction can be understood by Continue reading


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Some notes on Durban and COP17 geography

COP16 visitors who are tired of the long bus commutes in Cancun may be wondering what Durban has in store.

At a briefing with the South African delegation a couple of nights ago, they explained that Durban was chosen because it has South Africa’s largest convention centre, and right across the road is a very large exhibition centre. So it will allow for intergovernmental and civil society spaces in very close proximity. There are a great many hotels within walking distance, and the Durban bus system will be opened up for the COP. So it appears we can rest assured that the COP will be much more compressed and – once you’re flown the considerable distance getting there – rather easier on personal carbon footprints.

At one stage, there were declarations coming from parts of our government that the South African COP would be a “People’s COP”. Already, they’re backtracking on those statements, but are still saying they expect it will be a lot more accessible. The official Durban COP website is COP17durban.co.za. Continue reading

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