South Africa welcomes the outcomes of the UNFCCC’s COP26/CMP16/CMA3

Media Statement


14 November 2021


South Africa welcomes the outcomes of the UNFCCC’s COP26/CMP16/CMA3


South Africa welcomes the outcomes of the recently concluded Glasgow Climate Conference (COP26/CMP16/CMA3), which provide Parties with a firm basis for the full and effective implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement.


The international community has united behind a shared objective to inject a greater sense of urgency to address the global climate crisis and to do so on the basis of international equity and latest available science. The concluded Paris Agreement Work Programme will assist Parties to fully implement the Paris Agreement, in the context of a Just Transition and Sustainable Development, leaving no one left behind.


The complex Glasgow package outcome strikes the right balance to accommodate the very different national circumstances and capacities amongst nearly two hundred Parties, so that all are enabled and empowered to contribute their fair share and to enhance their climate ambition.


Leader of the delegation to COP6, Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, expressed South Africa´s congratulations to the United Kingdom for the successful hosting of COP26 in very challenging circumstances in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, as well as her appreciation to President Ramaphosa and other Cabinet colleagues for their guidance and support to the delegation and to all members of the multi-stakeholder Team South Africa for their outstanding work at COP26.


“COP26 sets the international community on the right track to addressing the existential challenge of climate change. For the first time the Governing Bodies of the Convention and Paris Agreement have agreed to the importance of supporting developing countries in financing Just Transition elements of their climate actions, and to support the implementation of Just Transitions that promote sustainable development and the eradication of poverty, the creation of decent work and quality jobs”, said Minister Creecy.


The Glasgow Climate Conference, with its multiple layers of political and technical meetings and side processes, sends a powerful signal of the need to restore the balance with nature, whilst also benefiting from the development, poverty eradication and job creation opportunities associated with the transition towards a low emissions future. It signals the need to act – and to act now – to keep alive a share objective to keep a global aggregate temperature increase of 1,5 degrees and further assist Parties with their efforts to address adaptation to climate change and the loss and damage associated with its impacts.


For South Africa the main priorities, as mandated by Cabinet ahead of COP26, were to secure an ambitious and progressive finance and adaptation package to support African and other developing countries, as well as to complete the Paris Agreement Work Programme. The key technical work included setting up carbon markets, an enhanced transparency framework and agreeing on common time frames for the Nationally Determined Contributions of Parties to the Paris Agreement. These over-arching objectives have been met.


Parties have agreed to work towards limiting the aggregate global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees and to align their Nationally Determined Contributions to this objective, as South Africa has already done through the submission of its enhanced NDC ahead of COP26.


In this regard, an annual mitigation ambition work program has been established, coupled with ministerial roundtables, to assess progress on implementation. Parties are encouraged to review their NDCs at any time, in line with Article 4.11 of the Paris Agreement. Parties are also asked to update on a regular basis their long-term low emissions development strategy and the UNFCCC Secretariat will provide a synthesis report on these strategies and NDCs on an annual basis.


A two-year work programme has been agreed to operationalise the Global Goal on Adaptation under the CMA, as the governing body of the Paris Agreement.


The deliberations on a new collective global goal on climate finance support for developing countries have been initiated. The agenda item on long time finance for developing countries, which was to have ended at COP26, will continue under the Convention until 2027, with a specific focus on reviewing and monitoring the US$ 100 billion per annum goal from 2021 until 2025.


A platform has been set up to address both the Just Transition and alignment of financial flows, consistent with a pathway towards a low greenhouse gas emission future and climate resilient development. This should assist in directing finances towards the achievement of climate imperatives, without compromising the other sustainable development imperatives of developing countries.


An additional $300 million has been pledged by developed countries for the Least Developed Country Fund and $450 million towards the Adaptation Fund. Dedicated climate finance to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will be increased.


After six years of intense and difficult technical discussions, there is agreement on the establishment of carbon markets under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. This includes measures to avoid double counting and ensure environmental integrity, resolving the question of corresponding adjustments for non-NDC activities, as well as a compromise involving the transfer of limited credits from the 2013 to 2020 period into the new markets.


Africa´s key requirement of using the markets to secure a predictable and at-scale source of funding for adaptation is partly accommodated through a voluntary share of proceeds contribution to the Adaptation Fund from the Article 6.2 mechanism and reporting under the enhanced transparency framework.


Parties have agreed on a 5-year common time frame for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution starting in 2031. This is an effort to address the complexities of aggregating the collective impact of NDCs that are currently addressing different time periods.


We have also concluded the tables for reporting action and support under the enhanced transparency framework in line with our mandate.


The unresolved issue of the recognition of Africa´s Special Needs and Circumstances is kept alive for substantive discussion at the African COP27, to be hosted by Egypt in Sharm el-Sheikh next year.


For media enquiries contact Albi Modise on 083 490 2871 / Peter Mbelengwa on 082 611 8197