South African President to participate in Summit on Climate Change

President Cyril Ramaphosa has accepted an invitation from President Joe Biden of the United States of America to participate in a Summit on Climate Change that will be convened on a virtual platform on 22 and 23 April 2021.

The Leaders Summit on Climate is the first high-level meeting to be convened by the United States of America since its return to the multilateral climate discussions under the Paris Agreement.

South Africa views the Summit as an opportunity for all countries to exercise leadership in climate change mitigation and just transitions in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement.

Furthermore, South Africa expects all countries to take this opportunity to highlight progress in implementation of their national plans and policies on climate change, such as the enhancement of their Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement.

Central to the political understanding among Member States that led to the successful adoption of the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015, is that all countries will contribute their best mitigation effort to reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases to keep the global temperature rise to under two degrees centigrade, as well as to develop a multilateral response to help all countries to adapt to the reality of an already changing climate.

It was further agreed that means of implementation support, in the form of climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building, would be provided to, and mobilised for, developing countries.

Support by developed economies for climate change mitigation and adaptation is a critical enabler of enhanced action and ambition by countries that do not have the capacity to address such daunting challenges on their own.

At the Summit, President Ramaphosa will reiterate South Africa’s firm commitment to addressing climate change and to contributing towards the success of the UNFCCC’s Glasgow Climate Change Conference in November 2021.

The President will speak at the opening session of the Leaders Summit, which is scheduled to start at 08h00 EST or 14h00 South African time on Thursday, 22 April. In view of participation by more than 30 heads of state and government, President Ramaphosa is expected to deliver his input around 15h30.

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