SA hosts climate ministers

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    Pretoria – A high level meeting on climate change, that includes ministers from Brazil, India, China and South Africa, kicked off in Durban this weekend, with officials on Sunday saying the meeting aimed at devising strategies ahead of COP 17 scheduled for later this year.
    The so-called BASIC group of countries comprises environment ministers from four countries.
    The meeting will be the second BASIC Ministerial meeting to take place since COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation said the meeting was also a follow up of similar talks held in New Delhi earlier this year.
    “The BASIC meeting [takes] place at a time when South Africa is preparing to host and participate in the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) … this BASIC meeting seeks to build on the discussions of the February meeting and inform BASIC’s strategy for the forthcoming UNFCCC meetings, and other strategic meetings such as Major Economies Forum (MEF),” the department said.
    Ministers in attendance include Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, Xie Zhenhua of China, India’s Jairam Ramesh and Francisco Gaetani from Brazil.
    The meeting is scheduled to conclude today.
    Politicians have been criticized for failing to deliver what climate activists said was needed to mitigate climate change. Analysts say the Durban talks could be a defining moment particularly for the developing countries. – BuaNews

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