Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Willpower vital to combat climate change, says South African minister

BuaNews Online (South Africa): Converting public will into political will is paramount to combating the global phenomenon of climate change, says Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk. "Our task as Environment Ministers is to provide the leadership that will convert public will into political will and political will into action and implementation. "These include mainstreaming and integrating environmental concerns in other areas of work in our respective governments and developing new scientific and policy capacities," said the minister.

Speaking at the 12th Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) on Tuesday, Mr van Schalkwyk highlighted that as the world population increases, so too does the demands for water, energy and food resources. These everyday pressures, he said, are exacerbated by natural disasters, extreme poverty and resource deprivation, as well as human induced-climate change….

…"Africa is one of the regions least responsible for climate change, and is also least able to afford the costs of adaptation. "Africa will remain vulnerable even if, globally, emissions peak and decline in the next 10 to 15 years. "No agreement on the strengthening of the international climate architecture, when we meet in Copenhagen at the end of 2009, will be considered balanced if adaptation is not accorded much higher priority in our deliberations," he concluded.

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