South African Government

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President Cyril Ramaphosa: G7 Leaders’ Summit session on Climate and Nature

13 Jun 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson,
Your Excellencies,
 
The existential threat posed by climate change requires nothing less than urgent, ambitious and collective action by the nations of the world.
 
Our ambition must not be limited to mitigation, but must necessarily include adaptation and implementation support. 
 
This balance is vitally important for Africa, which is disproportionately affected by the impact of climate change and yet is the lowest emitter. 
 
Access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is fundamental to reducing poverty and promoting inclusive economic growth. 
 
South Africa gives its continued full support for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement and multilateral environmental agreements, such as the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. 
 
South Africa is determined to contribute its fair share towards the global effort to address climate change challenges.
 
We have recently established the Presidential Climate Change Commission to guide the just transition to a lower carbon economy and to position the country as an attractive destination for climate and nature finance.
 
South Africa’s bold actions as a developing economy need to be seen in the context of international equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. 
 
Alongside many other developing economies, African countries urgently need massively scaled-up, predictable and appropriate means of implementation support so that they enhance their ambition and actions. 
 
It is important that the right of developing economies to policy space and sufficient time to achieve a just transition be respected.
 
We should be careful not to advocate one-size-fits-all approaches to disinvestment from fossil fuels or impose non-tariff barriers or discriminatory taxes that would unfairly harm developing economies. 
 
As we prepare for COP26 and commit to scale up our climate action ambitions,
we look to the G7 to demonstrate a clear commitment to significantly enhanced adaptation, technology transfer and means of implementation.
 
In doing so, it will send a clear signal that no one will be left behind. 
 
I thank you.

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