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Climate Change Team South Africa » Pretoria, South Africa

COP 17: Day 6

Green street 1

Site visit to UK funded green street in Durban – South Africa’s first Last night I participated in the official site visit for our COP17 showcase project -   the  retrofit of 30 low income urban houses in Durban with water saving and energy efficiency measures. The first phase of the project was fastidiously completed by the Green Building Council of South Africa in just a few weeks showing just how … Read more »COP 17: Day 6

COP 17: Day 5


The UK day on the EU stand on Friday was a great success with many passersby commenting on our colourful display of leaflets and posters highlighting the UK partners in South Africa and the many projects they support. It was a busy weekend in Durban with negotiations taking place on Saturday and ministers arriving on Sunday. The pace has really started to pick up now and the final week will … Read more »COP 17: Day 5

COP 17: Day 4

Whilst I was sitting down yesterday afternoon reflecting on the day’s activities I suddenly realised I failed to mention our wonderful UK delegation office. The office is actually located in an underground car park with pre fabricated cubes occupying parking bays where cars once parked. All the country delegations are down here along with the odd carpet tile and pot plant. To soften the concrete around us various delegation flags … Read more »COP 17: Day 4

COP 17: Day 3

In the ICC the negotiations seem to have shifted gear with delegates getting into the swing of the proceedings. There is a greater sense of urgency as people swarm from session to session. In the world outside these negotiations we need to recognise that a low carbon transmission is taking place and find ways to speed up this  shift.   Last night the WWF and NBI, supported by the BHC … Read more »COP 17: Day 3

COP 17: Day 2

Yesterday was the first formal day of the COP, with the Presidency handed from Mexico to South Africa.  President Zuma made it clear that delegates needed to get beyond inflexible national positions and show the leadership and flexibility to ensure Durban delivers further progress and builds on what was achieved at Cancun. We would echo this – a positive outcome from Durban is within our grasp, but we have to … Read more »COP 17: Day 2

COP 17: Day 1

COP 17

I arrived in Durban on Thursday to be greeted with grey clouds and heavy rain but this was not going to dampen my excitement of being at my first COP. I have been watching with anticipation over the last couple of days a large pile of wood on the beach front transform into a life size Baobab tree which is now complete with fairy lights powered by bicycle kinetic energy. … Read more »COP 17: Day 1

What to look out for at COP17

With days to go till COP17 starts in Durban, our team has been rather occupied making all the last minute preparations and filling diaries with a hoard of different events. I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on what we are expecting from this year’s COP and how the South African COP might be characterised:  1. It will be big! 30 000 participants are expected for this year’s COP. … Read more »What to look out for at COP17

Africa and the importance of Climate Science

Introducing our guest blogger, Jon Ryan, the Africa Prosperity Coordinator based in the Foreign Office in London. "When formulating climate policy and priorities, it has always been key to get the science right. But climate science has not been free from controversy in recent years, and margins of error have been exploited by those wishing to discredit it for their own ends. As the science has developed however, it has … Read more »Africa and the importance of Climate Science


Last week saw two important events in South Africa: the launch of the National Climate Response White Paper, and the second informal Ministerial hosted by South Africa (the “Pre-COP”).  I will comment on the latter (and where I believe we stand ahead of Durban) later this week. The long awaited White Paper, originally scheduled for release in June, but delayed because of the weight of public comment on the preceding … Read more »IT’S BEEN A BUSY CLIMATE WEEK IN SOUTH AFRICA…

Agriculture and South Africa’s climate change response – marking Blog Action Day and UN World Food Day

Did you know that agriculture accounts for 10-12% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and half of all the world’s methane produced from anthropogenic sources? Surprising isn’t it? We tend to hear a lot about the emissions from the likes of industry, transport, and energy use but less about this huge and vital sector. So where do these emissions come from and how can we manage them to address food … Read more »Agriculture and South Africa’s climate change response – marking Blog Action Day and UN World Food Day