JOHANNESBURG-- Environmental Affairs Minister Dr Edna Molewa has called on South Africans from all walks of life to join global efforts to combat climate change.

Molewa made the call at the opening of the South African National Talanoa Dialogue in Midrand, near here, on Thursday. The Talanoa Dialogue is a process designed to help countries implement and enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to the 2015 Paris Agreement by 2020.

The dialogue was mandated by the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to take stock of the collective global efforts to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015.

Molewa said all South Africans must work to address the climate change challenge and broaden the national conversation on how best to achieve the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient world.

If we adopt the same can-do spirit that secured our transition to democracy, there is no doubt that we can also bring about the low emissions transition in a manner in which our environment, health and development gains are protected and new opportunities are created for development, Molewa added.

She said South Africa's national story of struggle for dignity, self-determination and inclusive, sustainable social and economic development shows that it is possible to overcome even seemingly intractable challenges through dialogue.

The democratic dispensation we have collectively achieved through this dialogue has already delivered on a number of our political, social and economic development objectives. However, clearly more needs to be done and there are serious challenges in the road ahead," she said.

Climate change is one of these key challenges and it poses the single biggest threat to development, with its widespread and unprecedented impacts that disproportionately burden the poorest and most vulnerable."

The Minister said the multilateral process represented the best hope of addressing this pressing global challenge. South Africa continues to actively and constructively engage in efforts to fully operationalize the Paris Agreement and to raise ambition, both at the international and national level.

The Paris Agreement makes provision for the communication every five years of contributions and intended efforts of State Parties with regard to mitigation, adaptation and provision of support.


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