‘UNFCCC climate conference to be held in Durban next year’

Engineering News, 15 November 2010

The 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP17) would be held in Durban, from November 28, 2011 to December 9, 2011.

Durban was announced as the venue for the conference in Parliament, after competing against Johannesburg and Cape Town to host the event.

“Durban as our host city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal has again done us proud and this major conference will not only boost the profile of the city and province, with expected tourism benefits, but will also allow us to showcase our diverse developmental programmes of the city and province during the COP17 meeting,” said Durban Premier Zweli Mkhize.

“Durban looks forward to welcoming as many as 40 000 COP17 visitors, which will include Heads of State, government officials, businessmen and other delegates. Durban has consistently demonstrated that we are truly a climate change leader,” added Durban mayor Obed Mlaba.

The COP17 conference will be hosted in the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre as well as the Durban Exhibition Centre, which is the biggest convention centre in South Africa.

“The benefits to the city will not only boost Durban’s tourism and hospitality sectors, which will imply the creation of new jobs, but will also generate a significant amount of international publicity for the city and continue to maintain the positive reputation created by the World Cup,” noted Durban City manager Dr Michael Sutcliffe.

Durban would also have an opportunity to showcase its greening projects, some of which were first in Africa.

The UNFCCC is an international treaty arising from the United Nation’s conference on environment and development.

The treaty aims to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions to minimise climate change. The COP is the governing body of the convention, and advances its implementation through the decisions it takes at its yearly meetings since 1995.

In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol introduced binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The meeting was held in Copenhagen Denmark in 2009, and was touted as disappointing because the many member States could not negotiate with finality, and no binding, legal decisions on emission reduction were made.

The COP would be held in Cancun in 2010, and started on November 29.

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